“Try these remarkable wines from one of the most fascinating and compelling personalities in the entire wine world, and one dedicated to the highest quality.”
– Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, issue 198 on Tournon Mathilda
We just purchased a large quantity of Michel Chapoutier’s Domaine Tournon 2011 Cuvee Mathilda from Victoria Australia. Why? We think it represents spectacular value.
By the way, the wine is named after Chapoutier’s daughter Mathilde who is identical in name to an Australian icon (the ‘Mathilda’ or satchel from the song “Waltzing Mathilda”).
In 2009, two sites were purchased in the cool climate Victorian Pyrenees region for their unique soil compositions and micro-climates which when applied with his biodynamic winegrowing methods would produce and express the kind of wines Michel is seeking. The sites – Shay’s Flat vineyard and Landsborough vineyard – are known as Domaine Tournon, in homage to his homeland in the Rhone. Tournon is the village across the Rhône river from his headquarters in Tain l’Hermitage. Chapoutier then planted vine cuttings from the renowned hill of Hermitage.
“History will record that Michel Chapoutier is a revolutionary. Michel Chapoutier was among the first in France to embrace the radical biodynamic agricultural teachings, for which he was initially criticized, but is now praised. What he has accomplished over the last two decades or more is one of the great wine stories of the modern era. Michel Chapoutier has proven through his genius, the faith of his convictions and backbreaking attention to detail in his vineyards and in the winery that a once moribund negociant (yet with significant vineyard holdings) could become a beacon of inspiration and quality for the entire world. In short, every wine consumer in the world should admire his accomplishments.”
– Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
Tournon 2011 Shiraz “Mathilda” Victoria $15.99/bottle or $14.39/bottle by the case
This unique Syrah tastes extremely close to Northern Rhône Syrah. The Mathilde is extraordinarily similar to a Crozes-Hermitage or Saint-Joseph! It is the first time I’ve experienced this. Unlike too-heavy Aussie Shiraz, this elegant wine weighs in at only 13% alcohol , a level also close to Rhône Syrahs – versus 15-16% for many Aussie Shiraz. Like the great Northern Rhônes, the color is on the lighter ruby side, rather than deep purple. The complex nose boasts the expected varietally correct smoke, black pepper, blue and black berry aromas. The palate is full of peppery cherry, cranberry and blueberry fruit as well as hits of bramble. It just keeps opening up with air and time , gaining flesh and weight which leads me to believe the Mathilda will cellar well. What a singular, unique wine! (Arnies’s tasting notes)
94 points Robert Parker The Wine Advocate