A bit like an annual regional festival, the appointment is made in Lorraine in the ROZELIEURES distillery.
Every year, in September (and for several years to come), you have to go near the volcano of Essey and taste the whisky produced from the 18 plots of the DUPIC family: the PARCELLAIRE of the year.
In September 2021, I already had the opportunity to let you taste the TIACHAMPS from a barley grown on clay soil, and the LE CLOS DES CHAMPS from a barley grown on loam soil (here).
This year, let's continue the discovery of the fields surrounding the distillery and taste the two new ones: LE PARCELLAIRE MONT POIROUX and BLANCHES TERRES.
A small reminder of the principle of the parcels is necessary for those who did not read my first article last year (even if I do not understand you because it is here!).
The DUPIC family doesn't like to be careless and wants to control the process of making its distillates from the seed to the drop. So at ROZELIEURES we plant, harvest, germinate, malt, brew, distil, age and drop (also of course)!
As we know, if you don't plant barley, you don't get whisky. This is where the parcels find their source. ROZELIEURES has 18 fields divided into parcels like in the wines all around the village of the same name.
The plots are diversified by their soil (silty, clayey-limestone, clayey and even volcanic), but also by their exposure and their proximity to the river Euron which crosses the region before flowing into the Moselle and later the Rhine.
This year, Christophe DUPIC chose to take us on a journey (he knew I had a Van!!) and took us a little way from the village to the south to the silty soil of the BLANCHE TERRE plot and much
further north (20 minutes anyway) to the clay-limestone soil of the MONT POIROUX plot.
In order to push the comparison and to present the typicality of the two distillates by highlighting the land that made the barley grow, he slipped his two distillates into ex-bourbon barrels and then into ex-Cognac barrels. Only the clay-limestone was pampered in new French casks.
Take a cereal planted in two different fields and have it go through almost the same process right down to the drop of whisky in the bottle...and you may be surprised.
We'll see, but it's pretty obvious here.
Let's start with the silty BLANCHE TERRES
Before tasting it, a little technicality to better understand it. This distillate comes from a barley cultivated on a small plot of land with silty soil (it's marked on the bottle), but what is less known is that the facts date from 2018 and that the distillation took place in 2019. Also, this distillate is quite young as it has only been in cask for 3 years.
So what about it?
The first nose of this "Blanches terres" is like a cornucopia of orchard fruits. A mixture of pear and peach aromas on a dewy morning. The nose has a certain freshness.
The second passage confirms its fruity notes but adds floral aromas with a fine peppery hint that tries to get out.
On a third pass, the pear takes over again as in the signature, but it is accompanied by cereal aromas.
It is a smell of caramelised cereals that will remain in the palm of your hand if you try it.
On the palate, it is quite surprising, because while it seems to "drop a pear" on you, it will quickly have a warm woody taste.
It then returns to a certain lemon-grapefruit tension with citrus fruits developing in the mouth. At the end, the lemonade loses its acidity and becomes more honeyed with a touch of harshness.
On the way down the cereals take over again, accompanied by fresh menthol notes.
The empty glass will initially remain dominated by pear (one might have guessed) but once evaporated, it reveals cereal notes with a touch of sugar.
Let's move on to the second 2022 plot: Le Mont-Poiroux.
Here we find a distillate grown over a similar period to its predecessor, but on a parcel (the largest on the estate) located on a clay-limestone plateau at a different altitude (330 m).
The nose of this distillate is less marked on the fruits of the orchard than the previous one, even if we find a pear in the background. It will be more discreet but remains well marked by sweet notes.
On the second pass, it will release some spices on a mellow background that already announces it as dense and thick.
On the third pass it becomes even denser and confirms its pastry side and even releases a smoky woody aspect.
In the palm of the hand it is the cereal that has the best part, but it is accompanied by sweet notes.
As discreet as it is on the nose, it will reveal itself on the palate. It immediately reveals itself as pastry-like, dense and sweet. Then comes a woody side with a hint of
harshness which dries the mouth to leave more room for the spices which then come to sting the tongue. The fruity notes are well present with here and there some saline notes that arrive in
The finish is more surprising as it will be fresher after the heat of the mouth with a minty and then aniseed aspect. We also notice a rise of spices in the mouth.
The empty glass will remain on pastry and sweet notes.
These two parallel tastings clearly show the impact of the terroir, a fruity side on the wet soil of the silty parcel and a woody, pastry side on the more mineral parcel of clay-limestone soil.
If I had to make a choice, I would lean more towards the "Mont Poiroux" but it is a matter of taste of course...
But one thing is certain, I can't wait until next September to discover two new parcels!
You can find all the plots either directly on the distillery website (https://whiskyrozelieures.com/) or on the Dugas club expert website (https://www.dugasclubexpert.fr).