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Le Rocher des Violettes "Pet Nat" Montlouis-sur-Loire, 2015

$24.00
Le Rocher des Violettes "Pet Nat" Montlouis-sur-Loire, 2015

Le Rocher des Violettes "Pet Nat" Montlouis-sur-Loire, 2015

$24.00
description

100% Chenin Blanc.  For a young man from the north of France, Xavier Weisskopf has a remarkably precocious track record in the world of wine. He went to school in Chablis, where his passion for the vine took root and led to the wine school in Beaune. After earning a degree in viticulture and enology, he went to work for the dynamic, hard-driving Louis Barruol at Château de Saint Cosme in Gigondas. He quickly became Louis’ chef du cave, and made four vintages there.

In January 2005, Xavier bought 22 acres of vines in the Saint Martin le Beau sector of Montlouis and an enormous, raw 15th century stone cellar—originally a quarry dug deep into the Loire’s chalk limestone bank in Amboise. Since that time he has increased his holdings to 32 acres of vines, split between AC Montlouis (22 acres) and AC Touraine (10 acres). The vines are scattered about in various parcels and were planted at different times, but the majority were put into the ground before WWII. There’s Chenin, followed by small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Grolleau for rosé, and Malbec (Cot).

Montlouis faces Vouvray across the broad Loire. These are Touraine’s two great white wine appellations, and both have plateaus where most of the vineyards grow high above the river. Montlouis has somewhat more sand and less clay in its soils and its wines, very generally, can consequently be fresher and straighter, requiring more time in bottle to round out. Vouvray’s advantage in clay favors botrytis, which can add any number of layers of fat to a wine.

The other thing about Montlouis is that it is roughly one-fifth the size of its illustrious neighbor, and until the AC laws created "Montlouis" in 1939 its wines were sold as Vouvray. Ever since, Montlouis has been overshadowed, but these days this underdog AC has become a hotbed for Touraine’s leading young Turks (in part because of less expensive vineyards). Enter Xavier.

He’s a tall, handsome young man who knows what he wants to do and how to go about it. He left the Rhône in favor of the Loire because of his love of Chenin. He plows his rows and doesn’t use chemical or synthetic products (he went completely organic in the spring of 2009). He prunes his younger vines for low yields of 30-35 hectoliters per hectare (the old vines give about 25 hl/ha), and harvests by hand. He favors wood barrels over steel tanks for the exchange of oxygen the former vessels permit, and he’s very careful to preserve fruit without letting oak intrude. Stylistically, he likes his wines to be fresh, mineral, and long rather than fat. He’s very much of a young vigneron to watch.

PAIR WITH TAKEOUT AND CURRY AND BRUNCH.