Sébastien Cornille at Domaine de la Roche Bleue, Jasnières

Great Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir from Bellivière and Roche Bleue!

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Curnonsky, (1872 - 1956) Prince of Gastronomy, declared that "Jasnières is,  three times each century, the greatest white wine in the world!" Happily, with global warming, this tiny appellation north of Tours now produces outstanding wines more often, and 2014 is a superb vintage in Jasnières (though difficult for the growers), combining beautiful ripeness with firm acidity. The tiny appellations of Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir, each with only about 75 hectares of vines, are located on south facing hills along the Loir river north of Tours, on bedrock of Turonian limestone with, varied soils of clays with silex and sands with mica. (The Bellivière Cuvée Calligramme, for instance, includes parcels on 9 different soils!) Considered to have the best terroir and exposure, Jasnières consists of one undulating slope in the communes of Lhomme and Ruillé-sur-Loir and produces only white wines from Chenin Blanc, while the geographically larger Coteaux-du-Loir also produces reds and rosés primarily from Pineau d'Aunis, with small quantities of Gamay, Cot and Cabernet Franc as well. Although somewhat protected by forests to the north, the cool climate helps create vibrant dry wines, with firm acidity that cellar beautifully, and demi-sec and sweet wines that are beautifully balanced, though rarely produced. This bucolic and forgotten region became better known in the 1980s through the efforts of growers such as Joel Gigou and has recently attracted a small number of talented vignerons who have resurrected old vineyards and replanted abandoned hillsides, bringing Curnonsky's declaration back to life on a regular basis...

Christine and Eric Nicolas

Domaine de Bellivière was created by Christine and Eric Nicolas in 1995 when they purchased La Ferme de Bellivière, (previously rented by Louis Derré) along with 3.5 hectares of vines. Currently with 7 hectares in Janières and 9 hectares in Coteaux-du-Loir, this intelligent and soft-spoken couple, now along with their son Clément, are the leaders in the region due to their inspired organic and biodynamic farming and their dedication to quality in every aspect of vineyard management and winemaking. All vineyard treatments are organic, careful plowing is done to protect soil fauna and minimal organic composts are applied. New plantings are by massale-selection from their old vines, vinifications are in barrel with wild yeasts, and their new cuverie permits all handling of the grapes and wine by gravity without pumping. We have been great fans of this this estate since meeting Christine and Eric at (I think) the first Dive Bouteille in 2000. Tastings with them have always been joyous discoveries with thoughtful commentary from both these exceptional vignerons. While their wines are not inexpensive, they are incredibly elegant and complex expressions of their unique terroir, and we urge you to try them.

Domaine de la Roche Bleue was established in 2008 by Sébastien Cornille, a native of Sancerre, with 3.5 hectares in Jasniéres and 1.5 hectares in the Coteaux-du-Loir. Now totaling about 6.5 hectares, the estate is certified organic and operates with respect to the lunar calendar in the vines and in the cellar. Sébastien works the soils without deep plowing, harvests by hand, vinifies with wild yeasts without additives and uses minimal SO2. We met Sébastien "after hours" at our favorite organic/biodynamic trade show in Angers and were immediately impressed with his pure, expressive wines and with the focus and committment of the vigneron. We have just received our first shipment of three whites from Jasnières and the Coteaux-du-Loir, all of which show oustanding mineral and earthy character with great compexity of fruit and excellent length. We urge you to try all three and we look forward to receiving the estate's two reds (Pineau d'Aunis) and a sparkling rosé (Pineau d'Aunis and Chenin) later this summer! David Lillie

No Longer Available

Roche Bleue 2014 Coteaux du Loir L'Orée de la Berterie

This is a beautiful Chenin Blanc from Sébastien Cornille at Domaine de la Roche Bleue, from 30 year-old vines on slopes and terraces of clay and silex over limestone, certified organic farming with biodynamic methods and wthout plowing. Harvested quite ripe but without botrytis at 30 hl/ha, long low-temperature fermentaion, minimal sulfur. Aromas of stone, lemon zest, melon, pear, lime- flower and white pepper. Mineral and earth flavors on the palate with citrus, melon, anise and white fruits. The finish is long with creamy citrus, pear and herbal flavors, really lovely. Drink now with full-flavored fish dishes, chicken in sauce, Asian foods and goat cheeses, or cellar for ten to fifteen years. Highly recommended!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Roche Bleue 2014 Jasnières Sec

100% Chenin Blanc, from 10 - 25 year-old vines on a slope of clay/silex soils on limestone, certified organic. Slow pressing of whole clusters; long fermentations, most in 4 to 6 year-old barriques, the younger vines in cuve inox; elevage in 6 year-old barrels. This lovely Jasnières shows subtle aromas of earth, citrus, lime-flower, pear, anise and wet stone with a hint of honeysuckle. Hints of yellow and white fruits on the palate with very firm acidity and saline stone flavors with bitter citrus and earth in the finish. This is a beautiful young Jasnières to enjoy now with grilled fish, shellfish, roast chicken and goat cheeses - or cellar five to ten years and serve with fish or chicken in sauce and aged cheeses. This is a fabulous value and highly recommended!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Roche Bleue 2014 Jasnières Le Clos des Molières

From 25 year-old Chenin Blanc vines in a mid-slope parcel of thin clay and silex soils on limestone, yields of 25 hl/ha, certified organic with biodynamic methods as well, fermented and aged in 4 to 6 year-old barriques. The wine shows subtle aromas of lemon verbena, ripe pear, earth and stone, with hints of anise and melon. The palate is very earthy and mineral with ripe white fruits, citrus, caramel and anise, quite dense and long. This will open up nicely with time. Serve now, decant if possible, with halibut, swordfish, monkfish, chicken in sauce, Asian foods and goat cheeses, or hold for ten+  years. This is a lovely Jasnières and a great value!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Bellivière 2014 Jasnières Les Rosiers

100% Chenin Blanc from vines under 50 years-old in 4 different parcels with flinty clay soils over limestone, very low yields in 2014. Aromas of peach, pear, lime-flower, brown spice; the palate is very mineral, round but with firm acidity with white and yellow fruits and a beautiful stony finish. Delicious now or cellar 10 years or more, serve with full-flavored fish such as halibut or monkfish. Lovely wine!

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

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Bellivière 2014 Jasnières Calligramme

100% Chenin Blanc from one hectare of vines over 60 years-old in 9 different parcels. This is a superb Chenin Blanc that will age beautifully but will be delicious at any point in its twenty to thirty year evolution. A brief taste last January showed a wine of great subtlety, very dense and mineral with deep pear and stone flavors. Decant if drinking now, best to bury it in the cellar. Very limited quantity available.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Bellivière 2014 Coteaux du Loir Vieilles Vignes Eparses

Chenin Blanc from 60 to 90 year-old vines from five parcels with sandy clays over limestone giving very low yields. Our tasting last winter showed a slightly more aromatic wine than Calligramme with white fruits, floral and citrus notes with a superb very mineral palate and fabulous length. Perhaps similar to the lovely 2002. Drink over the next twenty years.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $56.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Bellivière 2014 Coteaux du Loire Rouge-Gorge

Pineau d'Aunis from 35 to 55 year-old vines on heavy clay soils in the Coteaux-du-Loir. Yields are extremely low, giving good concentration to this wine from a delicate grape. Long fermentation with pigeage, aged 12 to 18 months in old barrels. The 2014 shows dense bright red-currant fruit with plum, violet and earth framed in quite firm acidity. Don't be in any hurry to drink this vibrant young wine - best perhaps 2021 to 2026 - serve with charcuterie, lamb terrine, guinea hen, full-flavored cheeses.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Bellivière 2014 Coteaux du Loir Hommage à Louis Derré

From one hectare of 90 to 110 year-old vines of Pineau d'Aunis grown on heavy clay and silex soils over limestone in eight tiny parcels in the Coteaux-du-Loir, extremely low yields, one year aging in three to five year-old barrels. Only 12 bottles are available so we won't get to try it! Here's the Bellivière note on 2002: "Sweet aromas of ripe red fruits with notes of humus and cigar with rose petal, violet and pepper. The wine is pure and structured with fullness and length gaining in power due to the fine and firm tannins in the finish..." We would suggest cellaring at least ten to fifteen years.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Bellivière 2014 Vin de France Pollux (Gamay) Arrives 7/20

100 % Gamay de Bouze from 35 year-old vines on heavy clay/silex soils over limestone, yields of approximately 20 hl/ha, several month pure carbonic maceration. Ripe black fruits, with earth and spice and firm acidity, serve cool with barbecue, grilled foods, rabbit stew!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic