GLOBAL SOMMELIER SERIES
"THESE ARE DELICIOUS, EVERYDAY STYLES OF WINES PERFECT FOR EASY DRINKING."
Head Sommelier of Le Bon Funk
Former Head Sommelier of Le Chateaubriand, Paris
Sommelier at Kødbyens Fiskebar, Copenhagen
Copenhagen Scandinavian Wine Academy
A member of Association de la Sommellerie Internationale, Danish Sommelier Association
MEET JOS KJER
HEAD SOMMELIER | LE BON FUNK | LE CHATEAUBRIAND
Danish-Japanese Head Sommelier Jos Kjer has dedicated over a decade to the endless study of wines. He spearheads the beverage programme at Le Bon Funk, curating an exciting wine list that celebrates the diversity of natural wines, exploring the styles and nuances within with over 200 labels from unique terroirs across the globe. He aims to challenge conventional notions around natural wines and acquaint guests with the ever-growing magnitude of the natural wine world.
Prior to moving to Singapore, Jos pursued a professional education at the prestigious Copenhagen Scandinavian Wine Academy, graduating at the top of his class. He was initiated into the internationally-recognized Danish Sommelier Association, and soon after, also became a member of Association de la Sommellerie Internationale. He has played an instrumental role in developing the wine programme across intimate wine bars and Michelin-starred establishments such as Kødbyens Fiskebar in Copenhagen, and as Head Sommelier at Le Chateaubriand in Paris. During his six-year stint in France, Jos became closely acquainted with vignerons through regular visits to vineyards, nurturing a deeper understanding of the philosophies and practices of the natural wine world.
A believer in a natural approach and motivated to deliver unpretentious yet singular experiences, Jos brings rhythm and verve to Singapore where he continues to push the envelope of the wine movement. “Ultimately, wine is made for enjoying around the table in good company; it’s not meant to be scrutinized all the time. We simply want our guests to relax and have fun with our lively, vibrant living wines.”
“For me, they’re all interesting yet approachable wines that each speak to their winemaking styles and approach, and overall are delicious and easy to drink.”
– Jos Kjer shares how he selects what to drink on his days off
IN THIS SELECTION
What — Lambrusco (100% Lambrusco di Sorbara)
Where — Emilia-Romagna, Italy
When — 2019
Jos says: “I’d never had a Lambrusco like this before and was blown away the first time I tried Paltrinieri’s Radice. I’m a big lover of bubbles of all sorts and believe that Lambrusco should get more attention; the good stuff, that is! This is such a unique expression of Lambrusco, it’s incredibly juicy, crisp and refreshing; a wine you can drink all day.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Fresh raspberry and grapefruit aromas with a bright acidity that draws you back in
Located near Modena, in Emilia-Romagna, Paltrinieri has for three generations now been producing a variety of Lambrusco which challenge the commonly held notion of ‘sweet bubbly red’ by many in the public. Radice, drawing its name from ‘radici’ or roots, harks back to Lambrusco of yonder and a far cry from cheap, sweet imitations that have flooded the market.
Its dry style has added interest through the use of native yeasts throughout its fermentation. It’s de-stemmed and pressed gently for a light extraction of colour before fermentation commences, then goes into the bottle for re-fermentation for around a further 3 months. It follows the same approach as a Method Ancestrale style production. It uses only the grape variety of Lambrusco Sorbara, one of the six commonly found varieties of Lambrusco.
IL MARRONETO ROSSO DI MONTALCINO ‘IGNACCIO’
What — Sangiovese
Where — Tuscany, Italy
When — 2017
Jos says: “I have a big love for Italian wines, they hold a place close to my heart. Il Marroneto has been one of those producers I’ve grown to appreciate more over time – their wines helped me realise how varied a region could be. I love the elegance of the Rosso di Montalcino; it’s brimming with minerality and purity and doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It’s a clean and pure example of a wine that really surprises.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Tempting aromas of sour cherry, herbal spices and violets. A tangy minerality runs through the palate over red currants and savoury edges.
Il Marroneto was founded in 1974 by Giuseppe Mori. It draws its name from an old tower dating back to the 13th century where the nuns of the region kept the chestnuts used to flour for bread. Guiseppe’s son, Alessandro has followed in his father’s footsteps continuing on the family business, turning his back on his career as a lawyer for his love of winemaking.
The estate’s philosophy focuses upon creating some of the most elegant and long-lived Brunellos in the appellation, with one of the most traditionalist approaches amongst Brunello producers. Alessandro’s practice of minimal intervention in the vineyard, eschewing the use of chemicals, allowing only native yeast ferments, and traditional cask ageing in the cellar are principles of his philosophy that underscore his mission to create wines “derived strictly from nature.” His Rosso di Montalcino is treated the same as his Brunello di Montalcinos, with the only difference being one less year in botti before bottling. The grape selection, treatment in the vineyard and the cellar remain the same for Il Marroneto’s cuvées giving evidence to the testament of quality synonymous with the domaine.
The Rosso di Montalcino is certainly approachable at this stage, but further blossoms with air and a gentle decant will certainly benefit the wine to truly see the layers and complexity within the wine.
What — Orange Wine (100% Muscat)
Where — Catalunya, Spain
When — 2018
Jos says: “I love orange wines – some are more approachable and easy to drink while others challenge you and make you think. I regularly find myself reaching for a bottle of Destí; I’m really drawn to its freshness and vibrant acidity, it’s incredibly aromatic too. This is one of those examples of an orange wine I’ll happily drink, whether I’m in the mood for orange wines or not. I like that they’re not afraid to experiment – with some cuvées more than others – but I think the Destí is a really great example of what can be done.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Lifted aromas of orange blossom, white flowers and ripe peach. Driven by texture on the palate, with lively acidity and persisting finish.
Còsmic winemakers have a philosophy of not just making wine but taking care of the vines and the land that they work. Unconstrained by the rules and regulations of Spain, they focus on making wines that have a “feeling of what we are” with a free spirit. Their focus is upon two quite disparate landscapes within the Catalan geography, with a large focus upon local grape varieties along with international varieties well adapted to the Catalonian terroir. Their 9.5 hectares of vineyards are cultivated in a natural, ecological and biodynamic fashion.
Their approach is utilizing a single grape variety in a wine, for “pureness upon pureness”, with the lowest intervention and highest respect for its origins. The Destí is 100% Muscat de Alexandria from an eco-certified plot within Alt Empordà, of Catalunya. It is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks to retain vibrancy and purity, after three weeks of maceration. The several weeks of maceration provided a lovely phenolic grip on the palate, adding texture and intrigue, without dominating the fruit components.
CLAUS PREISINGER KALKUNDKIESEL
What — 60% Weissburgunder, 30 % Grüner Veltliner, 10 % Chardonnay
Where — Burgenland, Austria
When — 2018
Jos says: “This is a wine that I’ve been drinking ever since I discovered natural wines. What I love is that it changes somewhat each year and it carries the unique characteristics of each vintage; it’s a great expression of Preisinger’s approach to winemaking. The beauty of this wine is in its imperfections: it can be a little spritzy in some vintages or a touch oxidative but it’s always charming. It’s a wine that I hold close to my heart, as it was one from the start of my journey into natural wine and I truly think it’s a great introduction to natural wine. ”
Character & Tasting Notes — Very expressive notes of elderflower, fresh-cut hay, white flowers and ripe pears. The wine’s unfiltered nature does not confound its ability for flavour expression, with a zippy twang of acid running through the palate.
Claus Preisinger began his first vintage at the tender age of just 20 and has since then continued to push the boundaries and conventions of the commonplace acceptance within the Burgenland. Within his 19 hectares of vineyards, there are an amazing 64 parcels, which are all located within 18 kilometres of the winery. Biodynamic farming takes place throughout the estate, with his approach in the cellars being one of minimal intervention.
The Kalkundkiesel draws its name from two biodynamic sites surrounding lake Neusidel, which are each dominated by limestone (kalk) and pebbles (kiesel) within the soil. The blend here is 60% Weissburgunder, 30% Grüner Veltliner and 10% Chardonnay. The blend is known to vary between vintages and can include Muscat in some vintages. It is fermented on its skins, and see 6 months in oak before bottling. It is bottled completely unfined and unfiltered, leading to a slight haziness in appearance.
CIDRERIE DU GOLFE CIDRE D’ICI
What — Cider (100% Apple)
Where — Bretagne, France
When — 2018
Jos says: “The French style of ciders, especially from Normandy and Brittany, is one of my favourites – deliciously refreshing with a delicate sweet touch. It’s another that I find myself happily drinking all day. This transports me back to my time in France. It’s like something you’d find when going through a local marketplace, without thinking too much about it. It’s deliciously approachable.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Ripe apples, with complexity and an earthy mineral note. Texture built with a sense of sweetness, yet kept taught and refreshing with a bitter touch on the finish.
The story of Marc Abel and François Desforges prove that later in life changes are most certainly possible. Marc, originally a photographer from Paris, and François, a professor of biology, became the owners of La Ciderie du Golfe after a chance encounter with the former owners. The orchards of the farm are located on the Bretagne coast, all within 5km of their farm. Their plots are worked completely naturally, with no phytosanitary products and biodiversity is encouraged within the orchards. Sheep and donkeys control the grasses, avoiding the required use of machinery. Mother Nature decides when the apples are to be harvested, as they are collected from the ground only after having naturally fallen.
Cidre d’Ici means “cider from here”, and is truly demonstrative of its name with the orchards coming from within the farm, the cleaning, crushing, pressing and fermentation all occurring on the farm as well. They use a total of 17 different apple varieties, with each adding a different array of flavours to the cider. It is a pure, raw product with no additions or concentrates used throughout the production process. It holds a balanced sweetness of around 27 grams per litre, with its bitter-focussed apples playing nicely against the sugar component.
Cidrerie du Golfe in a short time has found themselves amongst the most sought after cider producers throughout Europe, with many of the world’s great restaurants now having them on their lists. Their traditional and low-tech approach demonstrates the capabilities possible with amazing produce and organically farmed orchards.
FRÉDÉRIC COSSARD SAINT-ROMAIN ‘COMBE BAZIN’
What — Chardonnay
Where — Burgundy, France
When — 2018
Jos says: “Cossard was one of the first natural wine producers from Burgundy I became acquainted with. The quality of his wines really broadened my perception of what natural and minimal intervention wines could be. I really like his vibrant style and always find myself drawn to the energy in his wines. His ‘Combe Bazin’ is one of my all-time favourite wines, not just from him but amongst producers all over the world. Whenever I come across it on a wine list, I always order it.
In fact, the ‘Combe Bazin’ 2012 was the first bottle of wine I had with Chef Keirin. This was before I’d joined Le Bon Funk, we were at Le Dauphin, the wine bar of Chateaubriand in Paris. Talking over that bottle was what planted the seed that led me to move to Singapore.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Ripe stone fruits and notes of orchard fruits, layered over a saline-like minerality
Frédéric Cossard had a somewhat left of center career before becoming a man of the vines, with more than 10 years of following his father’s footsteps in the milk trade. Not being born into a family of vignerons means that starting to produce wines in Burgundy is no easy feat. In 1996, he began Domaine de Chassorney, with a few hectares of rented vines. To access additional vineyards, he also began working as a négociant, with such wines being bottles eponymously, as ‘Frédéric Cossard’.
The Saint-Romain ‘Combe Bazin’ is the most emblematic white wine of the estate, and arguably of the estate entirely. Its location within the village of Saint-Romain holds a high percentage of limestone. The nature of the plot combined with Fred’s approach leads itself to wines of nerve and tension with a distinctive minerality. In the winemaking process, there are no chemical additions whatsoever, including sulphur, with long and unrushed fermentations. His wines are never marked by new oak usage, wanting to let the specificity of the individual terroir shine through.
The warmth and sunshine of 2018 provide a counterbalance to Fred’s style of laser-like acidity, adding some fruit generosity and youthful approachability resulting in a delicious drinking wine now.