Just back from a couple of days at the Salon des Vignerons Indépendents. Lots of good wines to taste – some new discoveries and some old favourites, but more of that anon, when I’ve finished enthusing about Calabria and Puglia. Meanwhile a taster from Roussillon. A visit to Paris for work is of course an excuse to stay for the weekend and catch up with friends, and Saturday lunch saw us at Juvéniles. This was one of the very first wine bars in Paris, set up by Tim Johnston over 20 years ago – it is small and cosy, stuffed with wooden boxes, cartons and bottles, and it is quite surprising how many customers Tim manages to accommodate as well. Juvéniles is the place to go if you have an urge for fine sherry in Paris – the French do not understand sherry at all. You can also find bottles from Australia, and you can drink Prosecco rather than champagne. And the menu on Saturday included haggis as well as more traditional French brasserie food.
I asked Tim if he had any new recent enthusiasms and discoveries. It seemed easier than pouring over the wine list. And of course I knew that the answer would be yes. He produced a bottle of 2007 Domaine Pouderoux, Terre Brune, Côtes du Roussillon Villages. All I can say is that it was absolutely delicious, a perfect choice for the chilly temperatures outside and the convivial atmosphere inside. The wine was deep in colour, with stony, mineral notes on the nose. The palate was rich and warming, but not heavy. It was perfectly balanced, with some lovely spice and fresh tannins, and was drinking beautifully now, but would continue to develop in bottle. Tim operates a very sensible pricing policy – if you buy a bottle to take away, it costs you half the price of the bottle on the wine bar list. So to drink Terre Brune chez Juvéniles we paid a modest 25€ and could have taken it home for 12.50€.
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