Le Roche Bleue "La Belle en Bulle"

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Regular price $38.00

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Grapes: Pineau d'Aunis

Region: Coteaux du Loir, Loire Valley, France

Vintage: NV

Viticulture: Organic

Soils: Clay with silex + stone over limestone

Fining or Filtering: None

Sulfur: None

Notes from the Importer: This is the first pétillant made by Roche Bleue, and it came about because of the crop shortage of Pineau d'Aunis in 2021--so dire that the entire '21 production went into this cuvée. But even that wasn't enough to account for much, so 10% of Pineau d'Aunis from 2019 and 10% from 2018 were added to beef up quantity as well as quality. The juice of the 2021 gave the sparkle while the previous wines fleshed out the flavors and texture. Bottled without added SO2 or dosage.

In the years that followed, Sébastien acquired additional parcels, both in the appellation of Jasnières and in the surrounding larger, and commonly considered lesser, appellation of Côteaux du Loir. These are the two northernmost and coldest appellations in the greater Loire Valley, and once upon a time the vine covered the hillsides of the Loir Valley as far as the eye could see and then all but went extinct with the phylloxera epidemic. The near coup de grace following wars and economic depression was the infamous frost of 1956.

It wasn’t until the 1970s, a century after phylloxera showed up in the Loire’s vineyards, that Jasnières caught the attention of a passionate few. Still, the restoration has been minimal. Today the appellation of Jasnières is comprised of two communes and 161 acres of vines, while the surrounding appellation of Côteaux du Loir encompasses 16 communes and 198 acres. That isn’t much. It doesn’t help that even the French confuse Le Loir with La Loire (the former is a tributary of the latter).

 

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