As written for the Shelburne News by Ryan Chaffin
This past fall, Farrell Distributing began working with Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. Kermit Lynch is well respected in the wine world as a retailer, distributor and importer of wines, showcasing smaller, artisan crafters mostly from France and Italy. The wines coming out of this portfolio have been wonderful to explore, each showcasing a sense of place and tradition which results in wines with balance and complexity.
Although these wineries and brands are new to us here at Farrell, we have been busy getting to know them, learning about the rich family history behind these wineries and taking an enormous amount of pleasure in doing so. Head over to your favorite wine shop and look for the Kermit Lynch logo on the back of the bottle (pictured here).
One of those great brands to keep your eye out for is Chateau Ducasse, which located in France, in the Bordeaux region. This wine is a Bordeaux Blanc, and the cépage (or blend) is comprised of 60% Sémillon, 5% Muscadelle and 35% Sauvignon Blanc. Ducasse has a much higher proportion of Semillon in the blend than is typical. The vines are 45-48 years old, and the soil is Clay & Limestone on fissured rock. This is the entry level wine from this estate. Fruit is sourced from Graves and Entre-Duex-Mers in Bordeaux with all stainless steel fermentation and ageing. The wine has plenty of fruit but its minerality (derived from gravel soils) and refreshing acidity make this the perfect summer wine. They use a Lutte Raisonnée farming method which means they farmed sustainably, use native yeast, and leave the wine unfiltered. From KLWM “The proliferation of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides in the 1950s has made France the single largest consumer of phyto-chemicals in Europe today. The subsequent degradation of the soil has ensued, killing off the necessary microbiotic life forms that support healthy soils. Lutte raisonnée, literally “reasoned fight” (in French), or “supervised control” (in English), is a reaction to the use of such chemicals, regarded as a pragmatic approach to farming, where chemical treatments are used only when absolutely necessary. The reduction of sprays not only contributes to the health of the vines and the greater ecosystem, but also to the health of the winegrowers (who account for the largest percentage of cancer cases among farmers”. Ducsasse is harvested in September and total production on this is less than 9,000 cases.
Owner and winemaker Hervé Dubourdieu keeps close to the property and family, one in which goes back to 1890. He is known for keeping a spotless and beautiful operation. In the words of Dixon Brooke from Kermit Lynch, “Hervé is as meticulous a person as I have encountered in France’s vineyards and wineries. Everything is kept in absolutely perfect condition, and the wines showcase the results of this care – impeccable.” Hervé is incredibly hard on himself. Despite the pedigree and complexity of the terroir and the quality of the wines, he has never been quite satisfied to rest on his laurels, always striving to outdo himself “. Ducasse really is right out of a fairy tale. It’s very hard to farm without the systematic use of chemicals here, but Hervé reserves the use of fungicides, etc until all else has failed. He very much likes to be on property working with his vines, See some pictures here of this property.
Learning about the Bordeaux region is a long conversation, one that would take time to jump into. Certainly this is one of the most popular wine-making regions in the world. For example, when looking at red wines from this region you can find two banks here: a left and a right. Depending which side the wine is made can determine the blend. The left side tends to be higher in tannins while producing big rich wines, while the right typically showcases the opposite with lower alcohol levels. The history of Bordeaux is rich, and it’s very easy to find great information and articles if you wish to dive in deeper on the topic.
Other wines to keep your eyes out for from Hervé Dubourdieu would be:
Graville-Lacoste– This is the next step up for the estate. All the fruit comes from the Graves AOC hence it is labeled as Graves rather than Bordeaux Blanc. As you may think, the Graves AOC is named after its gravel soil. The top white Bordeaux typically come from Graves. From the website “
Roumieu-Lacoste– This is a dessert wines made from grapes affected by botrytis, aka “noble rot.”
Why not take a tour of France and Italy through the eyes (and palate) of Kermit Lynch, gather with some friends, and pull out the Vermont cheese, charcuterie boards and toast! I hope you get a chance to check out this wine and explore other brands from the Kermit Lynch portfolio. These wines can be found at your favorite wine shops here locally, don’t be afraid to ask the professionals who work at those shops; I am sure they would be happy to help guide you. You can find Kermit Lynch on Facebook @KermintLynch and on Instagram & Twitter @KermintLynchWine . We love feedback, so let us know what you think! email@example.com
Director of Marketing | Farrell Distributing
Facebook – @Farrelldistributing
Twitter – @FarrellDistVT