One of our best offerings of all of 2019 was the "garden" white wine made by Jean-Claude Berrouet at his little winery call Herri Mina. The wine FLEW out the door and people were BLOWN away by the quality in the glass. The one question we repeatedly were asked was "What about the red wine?" Most likely, you've never heard of Herri Mina, and how could you? Well, of course, if you read our emails you would, and if that is the case you would be among the growing legion of fans of this Irouléguy gem. I was able to snag a small amount of both the Red and the White for Thanksgiving. READ BELOW - PETRUS, PETRUS, PETRUS!!
HERRI MINA WINE LOVERS IROULEGUY SIX PACK $200
3 Bottles Each Rouge and Blanc -
HERRI MINA IROULEGUY ROUGE 2018 - $39 PER BOTTLE
6-PACK PRICE $200 - 10% Off
HERRI MINA IROULEGUY BLANC 2019 - $37 PER BOTTLE
6-PACK PRICE - 10% Off - $195
There is so little of it available and when it's gone, it's GONE so you really don't want to miss this. And if you're on the fence, think about it this way. Berrouet’s last vintage of Petrus, the ’09, is trading for $3,950. How can you not throw a flier at a wine he is making and we’re selling for under $35???
Herri Mina is not the name of a winemaker or anyone actually (well probably someone). The name Herri Mina roughly translates to “homesick for the country" in Basque. HOMESICK is what the legendary Jean-Claude Berrouet felt after spending nearly 45 years as the winemaker for a little place called Chateau Petrus. Berrouet spent 1962 to 2009 at Petrus, while also overseeing the winemaking at Lafleur (equally legendary), Trotanoy, Lafleur-Petrus and DID I MENTION DOMINUS? Go ahead, let that sink in. Over 45 years making some of the most legendary wines on the planet.
How do you follow up that act?
As a native of Irouleguy on the French side of Basque country, an area renowned for its independent and strong ancestral culture just half an hour from Spain, Jean-Claude returned to his roots and now tends what is more appropriately described as a garden rather than a vineyard on the steep slopes at the base of the Pyrenees. No pretense. Just one of the world’s greatest living winemakers having fun being back home and making some amazing table wine on the side.
From this tiny vineyard comes two EXTRAORDINARY WINES - a Cabernet Franc based red that is perfectly made, clean and bright with depth and character and a mouthwatering white wine which is a blend of local grapes (Gros and Petit Manseng, Corbu, etc) that is buttressed by excellent energy and a touch of savory for balance. Bone dry but with nice flesh, citrus, salinity (like great Chablis) and Pine. How crazy is that???? Drink this alongside some gambas a la plancha and you are in heaven.
There are only a handful of bottles in all of New York right now. So what about it? THE PASSION PROJECT FROM ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS WINEMAKERS EVER TO WALK ON TWO FEET or your local bodega's summer special of something that sounds French...?
A Wine's Quality Is Determined In The Glass.
Shane Benson | Owner | New York Vintners
After 45 years in Bordeaux, the pull of the Basque became too strong and Berrouet returned home. In Basque, Herri means "country" and Mina translates to "homesick".
Located at the base of the Pyrenees, Herri Mina's garden-sized vineyards sit just high enough in altitude to take advantage of the cooler air, while also benefitting from the ideal Mediterranean climate of the region.
About Herri Mina
Deep in an area renowned for its independent and strong ancestral culture, the Basque Country is in the southwestern-most part of France, just half an hour from Spain. Here, Irouléguy received its appellation contrôlée in 1970, with about 250 acres of vineyards cultivated by 60 growers.
Jean-Claude Berrouet is an Irouléguy native who left home to serve for more than three decades as the winemaker at Château Pétrus. But the Basque region has a powerful pull, and Jean-Claude eventually returned home to his native soil. Appropriately, he named his estate “Herri Mina”; in Basque, herri means “country,” and mina means “homesick.”
Jean-Claude makes a splendid white blend of Gros Manseng, Petit Corbu and Petit Manseng. The vines are planted on the somewhat-steep south-facing slopes of the Pyrénées, no higher than 400 feet above sea level, to enjoy the climatic influence of the Atlantic. They are protected from cold north wind and receive more sunshine than most other French vineyard regions. In small quantities, Jean-Claude also produces a character-driven red wine from 100% Cabernet Franc.
The Basque are no-nonsense, straightforward people. So, too, are their wines. Jean-Claude’s are perfectly made, very clean and bright, with more complexity than is often found in the region. The delicious, seductive wine is a favorite in Basque restaurants and pairs well with California cuisine.
- excerpted from Martine’s Wines, the exclusive importer for Herri Mina in all of the United States.
Irouleguy is a region located about a half hour from Spain and very close to the ocean. Vibrant, crisp whites from Gros and Petit Manseng, roses and reds from Cabernet Franc make this a perfect region to explore when eating coast cuisine with both French and Spanish influence.