Rouge-Gorge 2016, Coteaux du Loir Domaine de Bellivière

This is an, engaging and utterly charming, lightly aromatic wine, with elegant redcurrant fruits and light tannins on the finish. It has good acidity, giving it a lovely freshness and an attractive subtle earthiness. There is a wonderful purity of fruit that draws you back to the glass time after time. Well, it did me anyway.

We drank it with our weekly roast organic chicken, often the perfect match for any wine, red or white. Serve it very cool; I chilled ours in the fridge for an hour. It then warmed up as we drank it.

The vineyards are farmed biodynamically. Eric Nicolas uses natural yeasts and minimal intervention in his winemaking, fermenting in large barrels in his tufa caves. That probably makes this a natural wine, although it bears little resemblance to many that I have tasted. Over the last decade, Nicolas has built a reputation as one of the finest white winemakers in the Loire valley, crafting some sublime dry, medium and sweet wines from the lesser-known appellations of Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir. Try his sublime Vieilles Vignes Eparses (€48) if you get the chance. All of the white wines are made from Chenin Blanc. Pineau d’Aunis is, as the labels tells us, an unusual local red grape variety, a close relative of the Chenin Blanc.

€39 from; Ely 64, Glasthule,


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