La Grange aux Belles - 2019 VDF La Chaussee Rouge

"La Grange aux Belles is a 15-hectare organic estate, with vineyards spread over 5 communes in the AOC Coteaux de l'Aubance. Marc Houtin created the domaine back in 2004. In 2007, Marc was joined by Julien Bresteau, and more recently, the pair have been joined by Gérald Peau. The trio farm Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pineau d'Aunis, Gamay, Grolleau, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc – all organic (certified since 2011). The subsoils are mainly made of schist, with some silt and claay on top. Water stress is essential, and there is little rain here – the vines work hard! They farm using herbal infusions such as nettles, horsetail and buckthorn and put low doses of compost on the soil at the end of winter to relaunch the microbial activity. The grapes are vinified with their natural yeasts and no additives are used.

La Chaussee Rouge is 40% Cabernet Franc, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Grolleau. Carbonic maceration for 6-8 days, then aged in tank for 7 months. Dark red with violet hue. Boysenberry and blackberry extravaganza. Perfume is so good. Nice savoury notes of bay and juniper, tucked away underneath the fruit. Very fresh, lots of fruit right from the front to the mid palate. Then as it washes away, the subtle savoury notes come through. There’s some roast beef hiding under the fruit too. Beautiful concentration. A little mineral, a little savoury, a little violet. So much vibrancy and flavour. Then there are some very fine tannins that come into play as the wine warms up. The perfume evolves and evolves. Darker than previous years, but still has that same vibrancy and freshness, perhaps a bit more expression in both taste and smell. Has that purple wine gum factor like fresh Grolleau. An easy weekday wine that will keep everyone happy. Serve slightly chilled." – Importer

Variety Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grolleau || Region Loire Valley, France || ABV 12.5% || Vol 750ml