Jenny & Francois are perhaps thee leading natural/organic/biodynamic wine importer in the U.S.A.  They held a portfolio tasting recently and, being a big fan of many of their wines, I felt it my duty to stop by.  Four hours later I emerged having tasted all the red wines currently in their portfolio.  This is no small task my friends, there were 72 red wines on display.  I can say that this is far more wine than I have ever tasted in one go, the next closest being the Jenny & Francois Natural Wine Festival that took place last year at Astor Wines.  Even though I spit all the wines tasted (except the Els Jelpins!), I have to hand it to the “professional” tasters who do this day in and day out, it is a tougher job than one might imagine.  Your palate tiers and you have to remain focused.  And even though you are spitting, sometimes you feel like you are going sideways anyway!

Seventy two wines is a lot of wine, so I am not going to share every tasting note here.  What I can say about the entire portfolio of red wines is almost all of them were very good.  Only a few seemed a bit lackluster to my palate.  There are lots of great wines I would love to recommend, but I am going to just cover the highlights and I am going to do it along with some photos from the day.  Sorry for the murky photos we tasted on the lower level at The Smith and there were no windows.  Get out there and find some of this stuff from Jenny & Francois, its all natural, good for the planet, and good for you.

Normally I am not as taken with Burgundy as most wine folks, but on this day I was proven wrong. I fell deeply for these beauties from Catherine & Dominique Derain. Some of the most memorable and delicious wines of the tasting.

Derain Cevrey-Chambertin 2009 “En Vosne” Burgundy

The most tightly knit of the bunch, with great floral and lavender components, a bit tight, but still delicious stuff!  Certified Biodynamic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Derain Saint Aubin 2009 “Le Ban” Burgundy

Tight dark berry fruit with hints of earth on the nose it is sweet and delicious in the mouth.  Some lite tannins to resolve but once again very approachable even now.  Certified Biodynamic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Derain Mercurey 2009 “La Plante Chassey” Burgundy

Seductive and sweet and cherry fruit and earth and spice.  Lite tannins, but so nice!  Certified Biodynamic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Amongst the more fun labels at the tasting, I am not entirely sure it is legal to display nudity on wine labels in the US&A, but I love the name of the wine and this Burg ain't bad juice either.

Irancy 2009 “Viti Vini Vinci” Burgundy

Perhaps the most irreverent Burgundy I have tasted, it has a sweet amazing other worldly cherry component, with good lift and that simply delicious factor.  This is a W.T.F wine.  And in a good way.  Sustainable/Natural.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Guillot-Broux Gamay from Macon-Cruzilles out shined some of the Burgundies it sat with. How you like that Pinot Noir!

Guillot-Broux 2009 Macon-Cruzilles Gamay

This Gamay from Burgundy, not Beaujolais mind you, is all pungent red fruit and stones.  This followed a couple of Pinots from Burgundy and it mopped the floor with them.  Nice stuff.  Certified Organic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Loire + Cab Franc = Le Bon Petit Daible!

Sablonnettes 2010 “Le Bon Petit Biable” Loire

This wine is quite the little devil!  Cab Franc in the house with a nice spearmint play.  Nice!  Organic/Biodynamic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Adonis brought it, again, with one of my favorite obscure grape varieties from the Loire, Pineau d'Aunis.

Grapperie 2008 “Adonis” Pinneau d’Aunis

Savory cherry concentrated fruit with great lift.  Love it.  This wine always brings it.  Organic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Looking for Funky Town? It's right here. Cousin-Leduc is a leader in the biodynamic scene in the Loire.

Cousin-Leduc 2010 Le Cousin “Grolleau”

Another obscure Loire varietal here, Grolleau.  And this one is funkdified!  Dark weird fruit with a hint of spritz.  I love it!  Biodynamic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Cousin-Leduc 2009 Anjou “Pur Breton”

Dark and furry and sweet and savory Loire Cab Franc.  What’s not to love.  Biodynamic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENED

Cheap and Cheerful. An easy Vin de Pays Merlot was a surprise!

Patience 2009 Vin de Pays Merlot

This Merlot is cheap and pretty and delicious.  Not awesome, but awesome enough to merit a mention.  Organic.  RECOMMENDED

Not a lot to get excited about in Bordeaux these days. And then you try something like this. Classic Bordeaux. Word.

Chateau Meylet 2000 Grand Cru St. Emillion

Subtle and smokey and age worthy.  2000 biodynamic (Merlot/Cab Franc) Bordeaux at its finest.  Classic!  Biodynamic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Cahors, this wine has muscle. And in all the right places. Awesomeness.

Clos Seguier 2008 Cahors

Forget Malbec from Argentina, this is the real deal right here.  Mint/Eucalyptus, dark cherry syrup, and meaty earth mix to form magic.  This is awesome now, but is a cellar candidate as well.  Organic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


Another standout producer, organic Northern Rhone magic, Romaneaux-Destezet.

Romaneaux-Destezet 2010 “La Soutronne” Gamay

Pretty red tart Gamay fruit from the Northern Rhone.  You bet.  Beautiful stuff with plenty of uplifting love.  Organic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Romaneaux-Destezet 2009 Syrah

A pretty sweet little tart of a wine with a bouquet of violets.  Uplifting Syrah from the Northern Rhone.  Organic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

And now completely different. Cotes du Rhone like you've never tasted before. One of the standout wines. Wow.

Domaine du Trapadis 2005 “Les Adres” Cotes du Rhone

This Cotes du Rhone is something completely different.  The nose is love.  Sweet red fruit mixing with cinnamon deliciousness.  Never heavy, it dances, freestyle.  80% Grenache Noir, 10% Carignan and Mourvedre.  Organic/Biodynamic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – MUST TRY


Always a runner for best in show, Els Jelpins! Only catch, its very expensive. Thank god you could turn to the Inédito Rioja for an affordable alternative. Both were winners in my book.

Els Jelipins 2006 Penedes

Els Jelipins is one of those singular wines that is very difficult to define.  It’s different and you like it, but your not sure why.  It has cherries and pepper and lift and its delicious.  The wine has its followers and a $75 price tag to match.  If you can ever get a chance to taste it, do so.  Singular stuff.  Sumoll 60%, Garnacha 40%.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Inedito 2010 “3/3″ Rioja

This is what a great Joven Rioja should be.  Simply delicious, delivering more than it should, without getting in your face.  Very drinkable and very delicious.  Grenache, Tempranillo, and Graciano.  Sustainable.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

While all the wines from Deux Anes are great, the "L'Enclos" always sits on top.

Domaine des Deux Anes 2008 Corbieres “L’Enclos” Languedoc

Stinky rich red fruit with spice and citrus.  Enough said.  Delicious and hard not to love.  Biodynamic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

There is some French play on words in the name of this wine, "La Mere Grand". I am not really sure what it means but the wine is really nice.

Loup Blanc 2007 “La Mere Grand” Minervois

Sweet spiced fruit mixing with green tobacco.  Nice!  60% Grenache Noir, 20% Grenache, 20% Syrah.  Organic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

First wines I tried at the event, and right out of the gate, Clos des Camuzeilles was a sweet surprise.

Clos des Camuzeilles 2005 “La Grangette” Fitou

Dark spice and earth and iron and sweet red fruit.  Languedoc magic right here.  Awesome.  Certified Organic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Coturri in the house! Some of the most interesting wines from a California organic pioneer.

 Coturri 2002 “Lost Creek” Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir like none other.  Dark raspberry confit, sweet and tart and weird and wonderful.  Organic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Coturri 2008 Sandocino

Some times weird blends can be awesome for their diferrentness.  This is one of those times.  Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Zinfandel.  WTF?  But it works.  Exotic spice and fresh leather.  Yummy!  Organic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Coturri 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon “Testa”

Fresh mint chocolate chip deliciousness.  Not a big Cali Cab despite 15.5% ABV.  Nice stuff.  Certified Organic.  RECOMMENDED

Coturri 2007 Zinfandel Estate

Dates and figs and spice and dark fruit.  The nose is alluring.  It is very sweet in the mouth, almost sugary.  Reminds me of Turley, but without being Turley.  Interesting.  Organic.  RECOMMENDED