Belivière vines in Jasnières

More Greatness from Domaine de Bellivière: 2017 "Calligramme," "2016 Vieilles Vignes Éparses and more 2018 Rouge Gorge!

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Following up on Pascaline Lepeltier's wonderful, in-depth article on Domaine de Bellivière (if you missed it, you'll find it here) we're happy to announce that a tiny quantity of their two greatest Chenin Blancs - the Jasnières "Calligramme" and the Coteaux du Loir "Vieilles Vignes Éparses" is soon landing in NY!  Also arriving is a small additional quantity of the brilliant 2018 Pineau d'Aunis "Rouge Gorge."

Wines arrive Monday, 10/5. Normal 10% case/mixed case discount applies.

Certainly among the world's most distinctive white wines, "Calligramme" and "Vieilles Vignes Éparses" are made in tiny quantities, from outstanding limestone terroir and are products of great biodynamic farming and superb vinifications. "Calligramme" is a Jasnières bottling from multiple parcels, with vines ranging in age from 50 to 75 years old, on particularly rocky, tuffeau-rich clay-flint soils on south-southwest-facing slopes.  The fruit is direct-pressed and barrel-fermented with native yeasts and minimal sulfur; the wine is aged for about 20 months in mostly used barrels. Unique among Chenin Blancs, "Calligramme" always possesses a crystalline purity and brilliant freshness, even when there is residual sugar. The climate, which is cooler than in the Loire Valley to the south, along with the flinty clay soils, give this special brightness, aromas that are very "aerien" and a minerality on the palate that is quite special. In 2017 the wine is dry and superbly elegant with complex, subtle aromas and a palate with lovely density that remains light on it's feet, finishing with lovely white fruits, citrus, almond and mineral flavors. Enjoy now or hold for ten to twenty years.

Vieilles Vignes Éparses is Bellivière's oldest-vine cuvée, with vines ranging from 70 to 86 years old, across multiple parcels in the Coteaux du Loir: the name "éparses" is in fact in reference to the parcellation of the vineyards. These old vines on flinty clay soils, rich in tuffeau (soft limestone), yield a maximum of 25 hl/ha. The fruit is direct-pressed and barrel-fermented with native yeasts and minimal sulfur; the wine is aged in mostly 1-to-3-year old barrels. Each parcel is vinified and aged separately and blended before bottling. VV Éparses tends to be the most dry, powerful and structured of the Bellivière line-up; it will inevitably have at least a little residual that will not always be perceptible. As usual, the 2016 is a bit less open than the 2017 Calligramme and will need time for the aromas to develop. The palate is very dry, dense and bright, with perhaps a more saline and heavy minerality than Calligramme, with distinctive almond, limestone, herbal and lemony notes with floral white fruits. Decant if drinking now, best perhaps 2025 - 2035.

Reminding me of the great 2002 the Bellivière Pineau d'Aunis "Rouge Gorge" is just delightful in 2018! From Pascaline Lepeltier's review - " Le Rouge-Gorge is one of the most regular, over-delivering, delicious, consistent cuvées of Pineau d'Aunis you can find in the Loire, and the 2018 is absolutely yummy!  The concentration is due to the mildiou (which reduced the crop early in the season) and the heat which gave quite some structure to this wine, but without loosing the chalky freshness.  In fact, despite this density, it tastes so fresh.  The nose is unmistakably Aunis, with this combination of wild cherry & strawberry, black and pink peppercorn, fern and rose. The palate mimics the nose, but brings more savory undertones of fennel, caraway and tomato leaf. Tanins are chalky, the gentle aging in older barrels making them even more velvety. This is just delicious and complex. Enjoy it now in a Burgundy glass - you can slightly chill it - or keep it up to 10 years or more.

And don't forget the insanely delicious 2018 "Les Giroflées Rosé" and the unique "Myriades des Bulles!"

Christine and Eric Nicolas

 

Bellivière 2016 Coteaux du Loir Vieilles Vignes Eparses

Vieilles Vignes Éparses is Bellivière's oldest-vine cuvée, with ages ranging from 70 to 86 years old, across multiple parcels in the Coteaux du Loir: the name "éparses" is in fact in reference to the parcellation of the vineyards. These old vines on flinty clay soils, rich in tuffeau (soft limestone), yield a maximum of 25 hl/ha. The fruit is direct-pressed and barrel-fermented with native yeasts and minimal sulfur; the wine is aged in mostly 1-to-3-year old barrels. Each parcel is vinified and aged separately and blended before bottling. VV Éparses tends to be the most dry, powerful and structured of the Bellivière line-up; it will inevitably have at least a little residual that will not always be perceptible. As usual, the 2016 is a bit less open than the 2017 Calligramme and will need time for the aromas to develop. The palate is very dry, dense and bright, with perhaps a more saline and heavy minerality than Calligramme, with distinctive almond, limestone, herbal and lemony notes with floral white fruits. Decant if drinking now, best perhaps 2025 - 2035.

  • white
  • 3 in stock
  • $76.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Bellivière 2018 Vin de Table Les Giroflées Rosé

Les Giroflées is an absolute delicious treat Eric, Christine & Clément Nicolas are producing with over-ripe grapes of old vine Pineau d'Aunis. Off-dry still rosé is a traditional style of Loire Valley wines rarely seen outside of the region. It was drunk by the bucket at the turn of the 20th century by workers enjoying these Grolleau Gris, Cabernet Franc, Gamay or Aunis with residual sugars, bracing acidity and exuberant strawberry-peppermint notes. Unfortunately industrial winemaking destroyed the quality of these wines... until some real vignerons produced them again: no chaptalisation, no high yields, good farming and suddenly we could rediscover their true taste.  I love this rare cuvée from the domain as it is an incredibly versatile wine combining these sensual red berry notes, especially pomegranate and wild strawberry, the fresh cracked pepper spice and the forest floor giving some savory tones, and the perfect balance between sugar and acidity coming from the old vines and the clay limestone. 2018 is a great expression of this wine, as the vintage gave the natural concentration to achieve this balance. You don't feel the 50 g of residual as there is more tannic structure as counterpoint. Enjoy this wine today, chilled but keep it up to 5 years no problem, as the sweetness will become more and more humus, pepper driven. Of course this is wonderful with cold strawberry soup with rose water, fresh mint and white pepper, but really use it for any spicy red meat based dish - don't be scared with duck, lamb, etc. It should be quite outstanding! 100% Pineau d'Aunis. Pascaline Lepeltier.

  • rosé
  • 2 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Bellivière NV Vin de France Myriades des Bulles

For couple of years, Eric, Christine and Clément Nicolas have been producing a tiny quantity of delicious sparkling, some pet nat, some traditional method, some white, some rosé from Pineau d'Aunis and Chenin from their biodynamic vineyards in the Loir Valley. Myriade de Bulles is a new cuvée for them, and I never really tasted anything like this. Think Lambrusco meets Rosé de Saignée Champagne, but made with Cabernet Franc & Aunis! So how is it made? The base is 2017 very ripe Aunis, directly pressed, but very dark,  vinified dry, bottled to do the second fermentation in bottle. Because the tirage led to too much pressure, they had to disgorge it, put it back in tank. They added 20% Cabernet Franc from 2018, and vinified again a traditional method this time with less pressure. It is disgorged after a little more than a year on the lees, with no dosage. So, what to expect? Eric wanted  vinous, dry, red bubbles - this for sure is the case, but because it is made with lightly extracted Aunis and Cabernet Franc, the tannins don't come in the way of the tension, the dryness and the pressure (which is quite high, at least 5 bars). The colour is quite deceptive as you would expect something bigger and more structured, but it is not the case. Aromatically, it is a really enticing combination of the dominant of the two grapes, playing with each other : pepper, beet juice, raspberry, cherry, forest floor, fern. All in all it is more on the savory than the fruity style. I have to say I really like it! Drink it now, chilled, and serve it with anything grilled on the barbecue, including river fish, a paella with a lot of saffron, any type of cheese or  red-wine marinated strawberry. As you can see, you have  lot of options! 80% Pineau d'Aunis, 20% Cabernet Franc. Pascaline Lepeltier.

  • rosé sparkling
  • 2 in stock
  • no discount
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
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Bellivière 2017 Jasnières "Calligramme"

"Calligramme" is a Jasnières bottling from multiple parcels, with vines ranging in age from 50 to 75 years old, on particularly rocky, tuffeau-rich clay-flint soils on south-southwest-facing slopes.  The fruit is direct-pressed and barrel-fermented with native yeasts and minimal sulfur; the wine is aged for about 20 months in mostly used barrels. Unique among Chenin Blancs, "Calligramme" always possesses a crystalline purity and brilliant freshness, even when there is residual sugar. The climate, which is cooler than in the Loire Valley to the south along with the flinty clay soils give this special brightness, aromas that are very "aerien" and a minerality on the palate that is quite special. In 2017 the wine is dry and superbly elegant with complex, subtle aromas and a palate with lovely density that remains light on it's feet, finishing with elegant white fruits, citrus, almond and mineral flavors. Enjoy now or hold for ten to twenty years.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $76.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Bellivière 2018 Coteaux du Loire Rouge-Gorge

Le Rouge-Gorge is one of the most regular, over-delivering, delicious, consistent cuvées of Pineau d'Aunis you can find in the Loire. It is in other words a benchmark for what this under-valued grape (not of course at CSW) is capable of. In the talented, wise hands of Eric & Clément Nicolas, the Pineau d'Aunis shows its delicacy yet its ability to be layered, structured, terroir-driven. Being  high in rotundone and sensitive to geosmin, it is easy to think Aunis is just a light peppery, earthy red, or rosé. But it can be so much more, floral, herbal, wild, with orange zest, and a refined tannic structure. When yields, farming, vinifications are in check, it works, and in fact Eric & Clément don't hesitate to do 4 weeks of maceration with foulage, and long aging from these old vines definitely showing what the grape is capable of. Rouge-Gorge 2018 is absolutely yummy. The concentration due to the mildiou (which reduced the crop early in the season) and the heat gave quite some structure to this wine, but without loosing the chalky freshness.  In fact, despite this density, it tastes so fresh.  The nose is unmistakably Aunis, with this combinaison of wild cherry & strawberry, black and pink peppercorn, fern and rose. The palate mimics the nose, but brings more savory undertones of fennel, caraway and tomato leaf. Tanins are chalky, the gentle aging in older barrels making them even more velvety. This is just delicious and complex. Enjoy it now in a Burgundy glass - you can slightly chill it - or keep it up to 10 years no problem. Play of course with the tannins, the acidity and the pepperiness for the pairings: some wild boar, duck or bison charcuterie, smoked eels, some over-roasted pulled pork would be great, but also with a spicy lentil stew. Pineau d'Aunis. Pascaline Lepeltier. 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $46.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic