Every now and then I come across a wine that transports me, that at first taste takes me to a place I want to be. It happened a few evenings ago, and I have Vanessa Treviño-Boyd to thank for the brief excursion of the mind and spirit. I was sitting at the bar at 60 Degrees Mastercrafted, where Treviño-Boyd is the beverage director and sommelier, and she brought me a bottle of Lieu Dit, a 2013 Melon. The producer describes it this way:
From old vines planted in the early 70’s, this block grows on sandy soils in an exceptionally breezy part of Santa Maria Valley out at Bien Nacido vineyard. The fruit is pressed, fermented, and aged all in tank to ensure the minerality, freshness, and tension we look for when enjoying this variety.
It was crisp, balanced, and drinking it took me back to a little restaurant in the Fifth Arrondissement, at the top of Rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève, the street on which I lived. Several mornings each week a man would bring oysters he harvested to the restaurant, and I would go there and eat them as I stood on the sidewalk. If he was extremely busy, which he often was, I would shuck the oysters from Brittany at a small table outside the door of the restaurant, gathering a dozen or so on a plate before I ventured to begin my breakfast. With the briny wonders I drank, always, a wine that was from the Loire. I thought often of Hemingway, who had many times walked on that same sidewalk. Those mornings were beautiful. It was late fall, winter was coming on, and all was good with the world, at least on that small stretch of land in Paris.
I will be buying the Lieu Dit melon, a Brockhaus-approved wine, by the case, if I can find that much.