Chinon – Gérard Marula
In his literary odyssey ‘ Remonter la Marne’ (Up the River Marne), Jean-Paul Kaufmann shares with us his encounters with men and women who adopt a position of dissent and practice an avoidance stategy.
« They are not caught in the game and stand aside. They have learned to elude, to resist, and know how to breathe or to inhale a different air, to conjure evil spirits », he writes.
Meeting Gérard Marula, I was not long to understand that I was facing one of these refractory, recalcitrant tempers, who model their conduct neither on someone else’s judgement nor on the supposed expertise of those who know.
Because his wines are from ripe fruits, slightly ‘extracted’, without sulphites, and thus highly digestible, because his wines are not according to the norm of the modern Chinons, it sometimes happens that the juries of the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) make him pay the price for his rebellion, and refuse to grant him the agreement, the precious sesame to sell under AOC.
What is the matter if his wines are sometimes downgraded ‘Vin de France’ (as in 2008, 2010, 2011) ? It might even be a good thing, because the AOC do not correspond any more to what they were created for: they are just a guarantee of a standardized and boring product. Concerning Chinon, the false typicity of the Cabernet Franc harvested unripe, quite often vinified with exogenous yeasts, and loaded with sulphites, has become the norm.
Gérard Marula operates on his vines (2 acres of Chinon) with respect and conviction : close pruning, modest if not ridiculous yield. This is the price to pay for quality, and our man is not of the kind to compromise the least.
Refractory, rebel, unlisted, unparalleled.