Manu Lassaigne has a cult following in Europe, where his wines are poured at some the BEST restos around (Noma and Bocuse are big fans and pour his wine by the glass a lot), as well as all the uber-cool joints like Noble Rot in London, Chateaubriand in Paris, The Four Horsemen in Brooklyn, Joe Beef and Nora Gray in Montreal…the list is long! And there is a good reason why: the wine is simply fucking delicious. Who doesn’t want to drink naturally made champagne de vigneron, that is clean, pure, and refreshing?
I first met Manu in Montreal in 2008. He was in town with Bruno Schueller for the RASPIPAV wine fair; my partners had already met him in France (in Troyes, at the infamous natural wine bar Aux Crieurs de Vins) and had been to his winery to negotiate an allocation for Quebec. We were literally nobodies back them, and his wine was in high demand, but was willing to give us a shot. “Pourquoi pas?", he said to Aurelia and Alexis, sensing that he liked their vibe and saw they were serious.
The wines had arrived, and as I tasted them for the first time, Zeus started showering his lightning bolts down upon me. Here was the mineral bite of Montgueux wrapped up in the ripe fruit of Chardonnay, spiced up with fine, prickly bubbles and enough voltage to power a car. It was exquisite my friends. I quickly organized a dinner at my place, invited a few clients and friends and hosted Manu and Bruno. Lesley Chesterman and Bill Zacharkiw from the Gazette were there, along with some great sommeliers who were going to sample my rabbit ragú and the wines of Bruno and Manu. Many chairs were broken, bottles emptied, stories told. No injuries were sustained; damn did we have a good time! People were blown away by the wines and by the men who made them. The ragú was pretty good too!