2018 Julien Delrieu 'Le Jeau' - Rock Juice Inc

2018 Julien Delrieu 'Le Jeau'

Regular price $22

Region: Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Grolleau, Cabernet Franc 
Vineyard/cellar stats: Biodynamic farming; old-vine grapes from 2 different lieux-dits: Le Jeau on schist soils + Saint-Martin on deep gravelly soil with clay. Each variety is vinified separately in fiberglass vats, whole bunches are foot-trodden and ferment for a week with one pigeage a day by hand. Bottled without fining or filtration + 20ppm So2; 13% ABV

Brittany-born Julien Delrieu has dabbled: he's a bee keeper who has studied winemaking in Dijon, brewed beer with monks in Belgium, made cheese in Italy and researched sake yeasts in Japan.  It was the wine that stole his heart (along with the bees), so he settled in the Loire's Coteaux du Layon for his first project with two friends, Les Roches Sèches, in 2010.  The trio made some great Chenin, then disbanded in 2017 when Julien struck out on his own. He rents a barn at the back of a farm, a simple DIY set up where wild-yeasts fermentations are carried out in fiberglass and oak, and sulphur is kept to a bare minimum if used at all. Planted in 1973 and 1955, his vines are scattered around 5 lieux-dits (small single plots) which have been farmed organically for many years, and now biodynamically. 2018 was his first solo vintage, and he nailed it, producing bright, fresh, living wines despite the crazy heat this vintage.

This light, juicy red, his 'Le Jeau' is an excellent example.  Spicy, peppery and fruit-forward, with high-toned, tart cherry and chalky tannins (from those Schist soils), there's a pleasant barnyard funk upon opening, which quickly fades into plush, dark red fruit goodness.  SERVE SLIGHTLY CHILLED.

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