2017 J. Mourat O.V.N.I Val de Loire Rose
Region: Fiefs Vendéens < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Grolleau Gris
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; 25 year-old vines on purple shist and rhyolite soil; fermented and aged in stainless steel for 4 months; minimal So2 at bottling only; 11.5% ABV
Winemaker: Jéremie Mourat
An hour south of Nantes along the central coast of France, Fiefs Vendéens is the westernmost tip of the Loire Valley, just 20 km from the coast, resulting in a maritime influence from the nearby Atlantic that is unusual for Loire wines. The Mourat family has been in wine for a long time – first making wine on the Ile de Ré (along with salt) until the end of the 19th century, then as wine merchants, until Jean Mourat created the current estate in 1974. Son Jéremie joined him in ‘98, converting all of the family's 10 acres to organic farming. OVNI stands for Objet Viticole Non Identifie (or Unidentified Wine Object), a play on the UFO thing. Ridiculously cute packaging aside, we fell hard for this savory, salty, bone-dry rosé. Sporting a glowy salmon pink hue, with watermelon, blood orange, minerals and a kiss of salt, this is a lifted, pure and thirst-quenching juice, ideal for a round of aperitifs or a California fall laze by the pool. Only produced in exceptional vintages, this is made from 100% Grolleau Gris, somewhat of a Unicorn grape, adding to the cool factor. One of our top rosé discoveries of the year, and amazing value as well. Stock up, then drink up!