Off-beat to say the least. Jean-François Merieau’s Tu le Boa is an extraordinary wine. In 2000 he made just 1500 bottles from tiny yields (around 20hl/ha) of Sauvignon Blanc. Fermented using indigenous yeast and aged in oak barrels for 4 years with no topping up, under a fine yeast layer. It was bottled without filtration.
More like a sherry than a classic wine it’s absolutely delicious. A real shame that the bottle we opened this weekend was the last one from our cellar and I’m not sure he has produced a wine of this kind since (to be verified as we’ll be close to this domaine when we move further east in January).
As you can see from the picture, it has an amber colour indicating both its age and method of production. On the nose a whole myriad of aromas springs to mind. Nuts and spices with ripe plum fruit and and oxydative note ( like a sherry). It has a yeasty note but also a preserved lemon freshness and more than a hint of turmeric. On the palate it’s rich and spicy with a touch of sweetness.
We served it with a curried butternut soup which was a great match, the sweetness nicely balancing the chilli heat. We also served it that evening as an aperitif with Spanish style tapas and that too was a good pairing.
As this is a wine that breaks all the rules it was marketed as a Vin de France. In this category, winemakers have the flexibility to experiment, something they can’t do under the appellation system.