- Item #: i_379667Bottle Size: 750mlThe estate Le Capitaine which is a 30ha family enterprise located at Rochecorbon since 1988 produces Vouvray wines.
The Vouvray wines are exclusively made from the chenin blanc grape also called pineau de la loire. The chenin blanc grape provides fruity and floral aromas with honey flavour and a nice refreshing acidity to wines. The vines are planted in gravel and clay top soil over the famous local white limestone “tuffeau”, providing the plant enough water when needed.
- Item #: i_374618Bottle Size: 750mlFans of Vouvray will need no introduction to Domaine Huet, as this biodynamically-farmed estate is probably the most famed and highly regarded producer in the region. While best known for their still wines, Huet's sparkling wines are also stellar. The bubbles for this all-Chenin Blanc fizz were created with a variation of the methode ancestrale - where the wine is bottled before the first fermentation is finished. This technique results in a more gentle effervescence with a pressure of four atmospheres vs. six for Champagne. Winemaker Noel Pinquet (now retired) aged this 2007 for four years on the yeast prior to disgorgement. After the yeast was removed, Noel added a dosage of still Demi-Sec Vouvray to create a "medium" Brut with 10gr/l of residual sugar. The result is a straw yellow bubbly with the thinnest imaginable strands of bubbles that lift aromas of meadow flowers, biscuits and ripe pears. The pear notions carry over to the palate where they are complemented with flavors of dough, honey and nectarines while inflections of minerals and lemon curd linger in the finish. This is a flat-out charmer that surpasses many famous Champagnes we could name in terms of elegance, flavor interest and value.
- Item #: i_325711Bottle Size: 750MLIts great to find a handcrafted sparker like this that is both interesting (with a high geek coefficient) and easy on the wallet. Rocher des Violette is a stunningly distinctive bubbly made from organically farmed, old-vine Chenin Blanc grapes growing in the Touraine AC. What sets this fizz apart from the pack is its vivid sense of place, which is a direct result of proprietor Xavier Weisskopf’s Pétillant Originel methodology. Pétillant Originel is similar to pétillant naturel and méthode ancestrale, where a sparkling wine is created in the bottle with its native yeast and without any dosage (most Champagnes and Crémants are given designer yeast for their secondary fermentation and are bottled with a sweet dosage).
- Item #: i_377554Bottle Size: 750mlThis Brut is a creamy, pleasing blend of Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. All of the the fruit for M. Bonnamy is hand harvested, gently pressed and fermented cold to retain its delicate esters and aromatics. After an assemblage of the best lots, the wines undergo a second fermentation in the bottle by Traditional Method with 12 months elevage sur lattes before disgorgement. (only 9 months required by the AOC).
- Item #: i_377561Bottle Size: 750mlJacky Blot, one of France's leading natural wine producers, was originally a wine merchant who got into wine production two decades ago out of frustration dealing with lazy Loire Valley grape growers and incompetent winemakers. He practices organic viticulture with stringently low yields in order to optimize fruit ripeness and purity. While all his wines display stellar fruit and have developed cult followings, this Triple Zero is arguably his most original creation.
The Triple Zero begins with fully ripe Chenin Blanc grapes from low-yielding, 50+ year old vines in the Montlouis appellation. The grapes are harvested by hand, carefully sorted on a sorting table and transported to the winery in small plastic crates to minimize bruising of the fruit. Thanks to the unusual ripeness achieved in the vineyards there is no need for chaptalization; this is the first of the three ZEROS. Blot bottles the wine and ferments in barrel. He adds no liqueur de tirage (or sugar syrup), for secondary fermentation, as is common in Champagne; this is the second of the three ZEROS. Finally, he adds no liqueur expedition or dosage of sugar-rich juice, leaving the wine dry; this is the third of three ZEROS. The result is a compelling completely natural, lightly sparkling bubbly with two and one-half atmospheres of pressure instead of the usual six.
British Master of Wine Jancis Robison's praise is spot on: "Apple-y Chenin with enormous vibrancy. I would love this served at a party! Not aggressively tart and dry. Just lots of fascinating flavor. Very racy and refreshing. Impossible to spit. Long but not especially potent…It shows that there are alternatives to Champagne among the great sparkling wines."
Given all the attention and know how that goes into the production of Triple Zero, the after sale price of twenty-five dollars is more than fair for this unique taste experience. However, thanks to a special onetime purchase we can, while supplies last, slash the price down to $18.98 which, as we all know, is the going tariff for soulless, factory fizz.