(photo: geneanet.org)

New Arrivals from Arbois: Don't La Loue-se Out 

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In the northeast corner of the France-Comté, the river de la Loue emerges from a cave at the bottom of a worn limestone cliff, then carves through miles of lush vegetation, valleys and villages. It is in this river's crescent bend that the commune of Port-Lesney is cradled setting the scene for travelers, filmmakers, and future winemakers alike. I am indeed referencing Jonathan Nossiter's wine documentary, Mondovino. Heard of it? If you haven't, then rent a copy (but after you read this). 

(Photo:Guillaume Gerard)

Catherine Hannoun decided to move to the Jura while working as a producer on Nossiter's documentary, according to her U.S. importer. After she helped bring the world of winemaking to life for us, she returned to Arbois to join the natural wine movement. With the guidance of her friend Manu Houillon (of Domaine Overnoy), Catherine gained the confidence and experience to lease some vines and bottle wine under Domaine La Loue. Over the last decade she has carefully pieced together a respectable1.5 hectares of vines in Pupillin and Marnoz (Salins-les-Bains) - a perfect amount, she says, for a one-woman-show.  Each parcel is certified organic and she farms under her guiding principle that vines need "elbow grease," not chemicals. Catherine observes biodynamic methods and plows with horse and donkey, but her winery is equipped with modern tools which help her achieve clean, age-worthy natural wine without the use of sulfur. Her 2016 Trousseau is a lovely example of this. Nervy and bright-fruited, overnight the Trousseau develops complex savory notes that round out the palate, signaling that this could be an excellent wine with short term aging.

Catherine is likely more known for her white wines, which she makes both sous-voile and ouillée depending on the vintage. Her 2011 Arbois Savagnin Cuvée Raphaëlle, a skin-macerated Savagnin, was the first bottling I tasted at Chambers. It was a sleeper among the bottles on the table, showing tight and muted initially so we moved on to other things. When I checked back in an hour later the wine was alive with heady aromas of salty minerals, honeycomb, and ripe tropical fruit. And while we do not have that bottling to offer this time (sorry!) that is the common thread I've found in Catherine's wines - they unfurl with surprising depth when given the time.

We are thrilled to have these wines to share and like many of our favorite micro-domains working naturally in the Jura, we get limited quantities - the bottles here are last of stock and available for pick up or delivery now.  Amanda Bowman

 

 

 

La Loue 2015 Arbois Chardonnay

The 2015 comes from Catherine Hannoun's parcels of gray marl in Pupillin. Sometimes she makes this cuvée sous-voile but this vintage is topped-up for a fresher style that is fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel then raised in neutral barrel for over a year. An age-worthy Chardonnay with fascinating aromas of spicy redcurrant, honey, and melon. Like the Savagnin, it is quite compact at first and takes some time to open up, but once it does, complex flavors of tropical melon, blackberry, and honey unfurl on a bed of spicy mineral acidity. It should be interesting to see how this evolves with a few years in the cellar. Amanda Bowman

  • white
  • 9 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
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La Loue 2016 Arbois Trousseau

100% Trousseau grown in clay and limestone-rich parcels in Arbois then fermented in tank and raised in neutral barrique with no added sulfur. The wine is dark red in the glass and shows bright black raspberry, pepper, and gamey aromas just moments after opening. The 2016 is lovely with flavors of vibrant, high-toned red fruit. Firm tannins buoyed by crunchy acidity provide a backbone to flavors of black raspberry, orange peel, white peppercorn and game on the palate. Delicious now but should be even better with a couple years in the cellar. Amanda Bowman 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $37.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

La Loue 2015 Arbois Savagnin

This Savagnin comes from Catherine's parcel in Pupillin famous for its rich clay soils. The 2015 is made ouillé style and is raised in neutral barrique for up to 24 months. With a gentle decant, floral aromas blossom on the nose. A leaner style of Savagnin, with crisp flavors of orange citrus, mango and salty, slightly briny minerals. Decant if drinking now but worth the wait. Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $42.49

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

La Loue 2015 Arbois Trousseau

100% Trousseau from parcels of limestone and clay soils, fermented in tank and aged in neutral barrique with no added sulfur. This vintage spent some time in bottle before release. The 2015 shows a dark red in the glass with vivid aromas of ripe plum and black-raspberry, black pepper, subtle hints of violets, and a classic touch of funk. The palate has more ripeness and density than the 2016 with juicy strawberry, blood orange and meaty red fruit flavors layered over savory mountain herbs; the finish is long with a remarkable flourish of cherry pit and stone. A delicious and distinctive Trousseau that should be enjoyed now. Amanda Bowman 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $37.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur