B-21 Top Recommendation
In his days as a sommelier in the über-hip Montmartre section of Paris, Marc Besnardeau was one of the city's finest. A great palate, keen olfactory senses and a knack for identifying unique wines by varietal served him well – his hands were always well manicured. Enter Mireille Farjon, the lady he would marry and who would change his life forever. Mireille's family established Domaine les Grands Bois in the 1930s just outside the Southern Rhone village of Cairanne. With his marriage to Mireille, Besnardeau left his city life for the rugged countryside and the challenges of being a vigneron. Lucky for him, his natural talents served him well. Mireille and her family work with multiple parcels and varietals throughout the Rhone Valley, planted to soils ranging from chalk and clay to scrubland covered with garrigue. Many parcels have reached their 60th, 70th birthdays. When Besnardeau began tending, harvesting and blending – bottling the nearly dozen individual, highly unique cuvees Domaine les Grands Bois is renowned for – he was a natural. He even stopped worrying about those dirty hands. I highly recommend both of these wines.