2018 Anne Arbeau l'Appelle Negrette
Region: Fronton < France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming; silica and sandy clay soils; semi-carbonic fermentation in stainless steel; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added SO2; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Anne Arbeau
LADY IN CHARGE: Anne Arbeau, mom of two and a PhD in Fluid Mechanics, planned to work for Renault in Paris but pivoted to the family wine business when her father passed away in 2004. While her brother is involved in managing vineyards, the ladies are truly in charge here – Anne makes the wine, conferring with her mom and grandma on decisions.
Fronton, the Southwestern France vineyard area near Toulouse, is home to rich food like Cassolouet -- and a shit ton of bulk wine. So, what a delight to find the Arbeau family estate, started in 1878 by Anne Arbeau's great-great-grandmother. They started small, selling their wine in bulk until they could afford to bottle and label their own wine, which Anne’s mom started, and Anne continues today. We’re OBSESSED with this juicy, tangy semi-carbonic Negrette (an important grape here, but rarely found outside the Southwest). Aromatic, with the tiniest touch of sour-cherry/berry fizz at first sip, the wine opens up to reveal a meaty core surrounded by layers of strawberry and plums sprinkled with violets and black pepper. With soft tannins and a rich fruit core, it’s like Syrah meets Pineau d’Aunis meets Gamay. Love at first sip, especially at this price!