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On Summer May 2023

More summer wine with Simo Zbiri

This summer brings new stories to share and, of course, a new, special summer wine to taste, thanks to another delicious collaboration with sommelier Simo Zbiri. We named it Rouge Medina and we asked Dutch artist Gijs Frieling to make the artwork. Curated by Simo, the limited-run vin is created by Denis Tissot, chief winemaker of Châteaux Ministre, a small independent winery specializing in au natural production. Simo and Denis met in Marrakech and found that they share the same commitment to the best quality and genuine craftsmanship, but above all, Simo tells us, it was elegance that allowed the wine to be created.

Simo tells us more. In our portrait of him, he told us already, while elaborating on the values and attitude behind natural winemaking, that he felt completely akin to the approach of natural viticulture from the very beginning. When speaking with him for this article, Simo subtly pointed out from time to time that natural viticulture actually has little or nothing to do with commerce. Wines and wineries that use the label ‘au natural’ are referred to by the French as vin en agroforesterie. Diving deeper into the meaning of the word “agroforestry”, we see that there’s a whole different world behind the often nonchalantly used term “au natural”. As agroforestry refers to the use of land that integrates pasture or crops with trees and shrubs to significantly increase biodiversity and improve soil structure and fertility, among other benefits, we see that it has all the more to do with tradition and the appreciation of life on earth. Vineyards maintained in this way eventually become microclimates. Now we can say confidently that our summer wine is completely au natural. After all, it was created by Denis Tissot, chief winemaker at Châteaux Ministre.

Back to elegance. Nestled among almond trees, maritime pines, juniper trees and a few scattered olive trees, close to the Mediterranean coast and near the French city of Montpellier, is a small vineyard. There, Simo and Denis worked closely together to create our summer wine. Rouge Medina is a beautiful dark ruby red. An exquisite bouquet of flowers on the nose with violet overtones, then a hint of blueberry, ending with a faint touch of réglisse. Like its grapes, its flavor is succulent, fruity, and in the mouth it is pleasantly silky smooth, like a small explosion of a mix of red fruits, with a soft, elegant aftertaste of white pepper.

For the best experience, drink it chilled. Just a little. A full body wine to make it a perfect summer. Elegance is very simple, like all magnificent things.

Our Rouge Medina can be enjoyed at our flagship store located at Beethovenstraat 9 in Amsterdam Zuid as of coming June. Everyone is hereby warmly invited to The AM House Amsterdam and have a taste!

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Product photography by Elmer Driessen