Loire / White / Grolleau, Cabernet Franc / Biodynamic
This is a blend of two different lieux-dits: Le Jeau a west-facing schist slope overlooking the tiny Lys river, and Saint-Martin on deep gravelly soil with a good proportion of clay. Each variety is vinified separately in fibreglass vats, whole bunches are foot-trodden and ferment for a week. Bottled at the end of March without fining or filtration, 20mg/l sulphur added. Bright, juicy and crunchy we love the wines of Nicholas Reau and they just keep getting better.
Notes on the producer
Originally behind Les Roches Sèches, a domaine he created with two friends before splitting up in 2017, at which point he set out on his own with 3.5ha of vines around Faveraye-Mâchelles. As well as being a bee-keeper (a passion depicted on his labels), he studied winemaking in Dijon, brewed beer with monks in Belgium, made cheese in Italy and researched sake yeasts in Japan. Returning to France he chose the Loire for its proximity to Brittany (where he grew up), and worked with two Vouvray growers, Vincent Carême and Sébastien Brunet, before settling down in the black Anjou. Moved by wines from Richard Leroy and Mark Angéli among others and enthralled by the electric quality of chenin on schist, Julien chose the (then) affordable Coteaux du Layon for his first project, Les Roches Sèches, in 2010. Nowadays Julien rents a barn at the back of a farm, a rudimentary and DIY set up where wild-yeasts fermentations are carried out in fibreglass and oak, and sulphur is kept to a bare minimum if used at all.