“Marius” White Rhone Blend by Michel Chapoutier 2015
Imagine yourself sitting on a beach in Mediterranean France, enjoying the sun and sea, sipping on the fruits of a lifetime of your own successful labor – a crisp, mineral and scrumptious white wine from just inland.
This scene should be yours – why not drink a delicious white wine in this hot weather? And it directly comes from Marius Chapoutier, founder of the now famous winery M. Chapoutier based in France’s Rhone valley.
Shockingly, the winery that Marius built—which became the celebrated M. Chapoutier—almost didn’t come to be. Upon Marius’s retirement—in the proper French tradition—the winery was handed down to his son. But this was not the life Marius’s son chose, nor the life that he wanted. He suffered and the business suffered. Marius’s grandson, Michel, showed enormous promise, yet father and son could not get along. Father had exiled Michel out of the winery, banishing him from continuing the family tradition.
That was the state of the business of M. Chapoutier when Marius was sitting on the Mediterranean beach, sipping white Rhone in the late 1980s. What could he do? Well, he chose to do something rather extreme – jump a generation. Marius took his few remaining personal holdings and entrusted them with his grandson, Michel. That’s right, the very few non-company garden blocks of vineyards went from grandfather to grandson, skipping the company and a generation.
It was a bold move and ultimately incredibly successful. Michel lived up to his potential. From his tiny inheritance he built up a worldwide wine empire, eventually convincing his father to hand over the reins, bringing M. Chapoutier to the top of the world’s winemaking families.
But back to sipping wine on the beach.
Michel did not forget what Marius had done. And as a tribute to his grandfather’s trust, Michel created this wine, “Marius” from one of his original holdings:
A radiant combination of crispy, freshly cut citrus fruits – lime, grapefruit, lemon verbana – combine with a richer sensation of almonds, sea spray, yellow apple and honeysuckle. The palate is zesty and refreshing, yet it doesn’t lack for richness. The almond hinted at in the nose comes together with a ripe honeydew-melon textural depth. In other words, this wine is perfect as a cocktail but can stand up to everything from olive oil-poached Rouget to grilled quail stuffed with rosemary and blood oranges. Because it’s bottled under screwcap, forget the corkscrew and hop right out to the beach – it’s totally fresh and in its prime now.
As you might guess, Marius loved drinking wine. One of his favorite sayings goes, “a good wine is one you want to drink again and again.” He loved conviviality and the spirit of sharing wine and food together. And that’s exactly what this wine from M. Chapoutier is all about – honoring a dedicated grandfather, sharing good wine, and enjoying the good life together under the summer sun. Cheers.