Can we produce a purer wine than water that fully respects Mother Nature? Jean Pierre Amoreau, owner of the legendary Le Puy, believes it and is crafting vintage after vintage a magnificent wine in a unique terroir.
Jean Pierre Amoreau is in any case quite a character. With his long silences, his pauses, we listen to him, captivated by this man who speaks of molecules, energy, magma, cosmos and earthworms. Yes, earthworms that swarm on his land. “There are 350,000 bacteria per square meter in the soil of our vineyards, which eat each other and parasitize each other. The earthworm, the last in the food chain, provides trace elements with its own excrement, to the earth…” And earthworms, there are 2 tons per hectare, according to his calculations.
The quest for wine production that is more respectful of the environment is attracting more and more crowds and the US is no exception to this trend. Jean Pierre Amoreau laughs in his beard (which he doesn’t have by the way) when he sees that many estates are trying to get on this trend train of organic and eco-responsible viticulture. He smiles because his family never took this turn. No need, since its mythical Château Le Puy has been 100% organic for 400 years! 400 years! Who says better ?
In 300 pages book “Purer than Water”, Jean Amoreau takes a lucid and very pragmatic look at the evolution of the world of wine, which has let itself go to industrial excesses in our lifestyles and our consumption patterns where “brutality has unbalanced the harmony between human beings and ecosystems”.
“Wine must be produced in the purest possible way. It must not generate digestive disorders or viral infections. And the standard of purity is water. In the comparative sense, the ideal of a great wine, it is therefore a wine purer than water.” – Jean Pierre Amoreau
This book is the story of his family’s life but also allows him to take a sharp look at the wine industry which has strayed from the right path. Nostalgic perhaps, but never dogmatic. In fact, reading this book should wake up some consciences in the middle. Whether on sommeliers, wine merchants, producers or on international tasting competitions, the author expresses himself without jargon and it feels good.
“Winegrowers must be able to take control of their production, produce their wines as they imagine them, as they want to offer them to their customers and as they want to drink them: healthy for the body, good for the soul.” – Jean Pierre Amoreau
Château le Puy, a natural wine?
Gradually, Jean Amoreau says that he eliminated the addition of sulfur in his cuvées. “In nature, everything is ordered so that the fruit defends itself,” he writes. No chemical fertilizers, herbicides or synthetic insecticides. In short, no addition of yeast or chaptalisation. And since 1990, the vineyard has even switched to biodynamics.
“If the way to get there is through organic farming and biodynamics, let’s hurry to embark on this path. It is becoming urgent.”
A star in Japan
I don’t know if you have already read the manga (Japanese comic strip) “The Drops of God”, but Château Le Puy found itself in this series, which was later adapted for television. The scenario ? Two heirs of a Japanese collector must solve twelve enigmas around 12 different wines… And the thirteenth is none other than Château Le Puy, vintage 2003. The craze for this wine propelled the price of the wine between 8,000 and 15,000 dollars ! It was enough for Amoreau to decide to withdraw all the bottles from sale in Japan. This story told in the book alone is worth the detour.
Deeply humanist, authentic and proselyte of wine tourism to buy wine from the producer, Amoreau is probably also a natural apostle of slow wine and slow food. The one who defines himself as a creator of happiness also believes that “drinking good and healthy is a factor in the hygiene of life.”
Amoreau is a humanist worthy of his ancestors who took the path of respect for Mother Nature and perpetuates it. In short, we drink his words like nectar. Especially when he claims that the wine molecule is like a sensor. With his Le Puy, he says he produces molecules of comfort, which gives an impression of happiness. So let’s drink a little happiness….
Le Puy, Cuvee Emilien, 2017, France
The Émilien cuvée is one of the great classics. Even the label never really changed. At this derisory price for the quality, you will be entitled to a spicy wine with delicate floral notes, very fine tannins, generous fruitiness (red) all in balance with the acidity. Without forgetting its slightly wild notes that tickle your taste buds. A beautiful wine that always ages well in the cellar. Stock up on it vintage after vintage. US Importer : www.madrose.com