NICOLAS CARMARANS, Aveyron – Organic
Maximus (100% Fer Servadou) is natural minimalism in a glass. Scarcely venturing above 11% it nevertheless sports brilliant purple raiment and positively billows with berry fruit. There is the usual graphite/slatey undertow and yeasty seasoning, but, like so many of Nico’s wines it is a lipsmacker. After destemming the grapes are fermented in tank. Delightful red fruit flavours abound amidst the sturdiness of the wine; raspberries and cherries on top of a layer of cool stones and pungent medicinality. It has a sanguine quality that gets the pulses racing; it is good will amplified in a glass; it is the earth, water, grass and stones churned into a ruby-hued liquid; Keats’s beaker of the warm-with-a-mitigating-cool-microclimate-south! I can almost feel the cholesterol dissolving now. A word of advice though. In the vernacular parlance, don’t mull it, skull it!
Nicolas (Nico) Carmarans, restaurateur and vigneron, has vines in planted on the decomposed granites high in the northern Aveyron. For many years Nicolas ran the delightful wine bar in Paris called Café de la Nouvelle Mairie. It, as its name suggests, is a meeting place where people go to sip on good wines, eat interesting food and solve the problems of the world. He sold it to concentrate on his vineyard in the Aveyron in south west France where he makes stunningly delicious natural wines from local grape varieties such as Fer Servadou and Negret de Banhars. As he says himself “I want to make wines that I like to drink”.