BOSTON, MA — The coming of autumn is a time to honor conviction, honesty, and truth.
Walking along Crane’s Beach earlier this week, I took in the kind of sunset that sweeps out over the ocean, lingers, ricochets hope in shades of orange, gold, purple blue, silver, and does more than beg you to take pause.
I stood in the warm water and looked out across Ipswich Bay, to Annisquam, Lanesville, back around over the dunes, and toward Castle Hill.
I thought about beauty, this blessing in front of me, all around me, free as can be, the purity and grace of it all.
A winemaker comes to mind, France Crispeel, herself the embodiment in her being, and through her wines, of my sentiments about autumn. I met her several years ago, on her first trip to Boston with her new distributor, Mise Imports. She spoke little English, and conversed mostly in animated French, and what I remember most is her integrity, her passion, and her love of her work.
Her property, Vignoble Réveille, is tucked away in Côtes Catalanes, in the Roussillon region in deep, Southwestern France. The wines she produces using Syrah, Grenache, Old Vine Carignan, and Macabeu, are lyrical in their purity.
France’s energy is electric, boundless, genuine, and her personality comes through in her wines. She takes an observant, fastidious approach to her winemaking, and the results are extensions of her heart and soul, of her grapes, and her land.
Her Franc Tireur is a favorite, made with 100-Year Old Vine Carignan. The name, which means ‘to resist’, is an ode to offering a solitary expression of Carignan, which is a grape often blended.
The label has just about every detail one might ask about the wine. What’s inside the bottle is a playful, fruit forward wine with just enough rusticity to show Carignan in its raw beauty– bright red fruit, fresh, clean with a mineral lace, tannins that offer structure and a husk of earth, swept together, in motion, like the sunsets over Cape Ann.
2014 Vignoble Réveille, Franc Tireur, Old Vine Carignan, Côtes Catalanes, Roussillon, France. Available at Boston wine shops for around $24.
Perfect for autumn’s embrace, Franc Tireur simply asks that you take notice, if for a moment, to savor.