2017 Domaine de Pave “Different”
Region: Saint-Pourçain < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: 100% Tressallier (AKA Sacy)
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming; high altitude vineyards on alluvial soil/sand/gravel soils; vinification in stainless steel tanks; unfined/unfiltered with minimal So2 at bottling only; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Julien Nebout
WHY IS THIS A UNICORN WINE? Have you ever heard of Tressallier? Neither had we. Phylloxera wiped most of it out, so there are very few vines planted in the world. Unicorn by default…
Tressallier, also known as Sacy, is a French grape local to the Saint-Pourçain appellation that generally gets blended in with Chardonnay, due to the shortage of the variety after phylloxera blight in France (there are only 50 acres planted worldwide to this grape). So, pure Tressallier is a rarity, which is sad because it’s so freaking good, especially in Julien’s hands. Electrifyingly bright with crazy minerality and just a touch of creaminess, it’s bone dry and tastes like lemon muddled with thyme and underripe stone fruit. Sort of like Chablis, with a texture and minerality that tastes like you're drinking glacial water filtered through crushed oyster shells.