Andrew Guard

Avallon


Nicolas Vauthier has been a big fan of non interventionist wines, and on the forefront of promoting the wines he loves, for many years. He created Aux Crieurs de Vin a wonderful natural wine bar/store/restaurant in the city of Troyes and ran it for ten years. Eventually, after being surrounded by so much good wine, good times and conversations, Nicolas decided he wanted to make some wine for himself.

After selling the wines from the best producers in France for years he had created a lot of goodwill amongst them and they were only to happy to help him get started with advice and work experience – Philippe Pacalet in Burgundy immediately comes to mind. What he has created is a micro “negoce” house in Avallon, in the northern part of Burgundy near Chablis.

The name Viti Vini Vinci is a play on words, "I came, saw and conquered". Vauthier buys organically grown grapes 'a pied', still on the vine, harvests them with his own pickers, and then, in the spirit of minimal intervention, lets the wine make itself, he intervenes as little as possible.

All the wines are made with scrupulous attention to detail and are non-interventionist par excellence! Wonderfully vibrant fruity aromas, satin textures and a vibrant, mineral core characterise all the wines and as they are not from Burgundy heartland they are comparatively inexpensive.

He makes use of partial carbonic maceration (fermentation under a carbon dioxide blanket) as they do in the Beaujolais and it helps make these northern Burgundy wines fruitier and more delicious. The fermentation takes place in large old wooden foudres with no sulfur - only a drop in the bottle.

The wines of Vini Viti Vinci are honest, direct, lively, crisp and sultry, real plaisirs des vins ". They are currently served by the glass in the 2012 San Pellegrino Best Restaurant in the world, Noma, in Copenhagen. This year I got the tip about this producer from two separate sources, the first was Thierry Puzelat who urged me to taste them at the Salon des Penitentes in Angers. I turned around to look at where he was pointing and saw a slight man behind a trestle table being mobbed, the crowd was deep...after that at the “Dive Bouteille” in Saumur I caught up with Marc Sibard the most influential caviste in Paris (Caves Augé) and we were talking about new discoveries when he mentioned Vini Viti Vinci in hushed breath. That’s like getting a fashion prediction from Anna Wintour.


 

Written by Andrew Guard — June 23, 2012