So I talked myself in a corner the other week by committing myself to presenting a new wine on a regular basis. What if I wouldn’t drink anything in a particular week that would be worth sharing? Should I keep buying wine, keep on drinking until I’d found one worthy of carrying the ridiculously heavy title of “Wine of the week”? Fortunately I do not need to spend sleepless nights on this worst-case scenario yet as I made a neat discovery the other day.
Chez Max is a nice little restaurant in the center of Brussels, known for decent honest food and excellent natural wines. The wine list is not static but changes whenever the owner discovers something new or interesting. Cassoulet (the girlfriend) and boudin noir (me) called for a nice Beaujolais and I wanted to go for a classic, Thévenet 2013. I was surprised when the wine presented was not the one I expected by Jean-Paul (whom we met earlier with the report on our Beaujolais tasting), nor Charly, his son, but Anthony Thévenet. Upon further investigation I found out that he has no relation to the region’s other Thévenets and that he only started bottling his own wine in 2013 after taking over his grandfather’s 100+ year old vineyard!
Upon opening the wine showed not a lot in the nose, very closed, very tight. The palate was refined, little red berries and a streak of nervous acidity that enhanced the fruitiness, but most of all you have this dark, deep minerality that is so typical of Morgon wines, a juiciness that is the perfect combination of acidity and structure. We did not empty the bottle in the restaurant so we finished it over two days and it really opened up after some time. More fruitiness in the nose, nothing plump or too in-your-face as you often get with mediocre Beaujolais but delicate flavors. This is impressive for a first vintage and you can sense that he learned the ropes from Jean Foillard, one of the best vignerons in Morgon. Anthony Thévenet is definitely someone to watch.