2018 J. Mourat Roquin de Jardin Pinot Noir
Region:Fiefs Vendéens < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified biodynamic farming (EcoCert); volcanic soils with 35% quartz; de-stemmed, theb fermented and aged in concrete; 12.5% 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. Today he makes several different cuvees, including his adorable ‘Roquin de Jardin’ (garden gnome) Pinot and Chenin bottlings, meant to be the fun everyday drinkers. And we could definitely drink this light, cheerful Pinot every day. It shows the stony, savory side of the grape that we rarely see in California – a pretty combo of tomato, oregano, cranberry and flinty rocks with side of earth.