2018 La Grange aux Belles La Chaussée Rouge
Region: Anjou < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Cabernet Franc, Grolleau
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic, biodynamic farming; 8-day carbonic maceration; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added So2; zero-zero; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Marc Houtin and Julien Bresteau
In 2004, Marc Houtin gave up a career in the oil industry to follow his passion for wine, and purchased 12 hectares along the slopes of the Aubance River in Anjou. Marc started out selling his grapes, but experimented with winemaking along the way. Julien joined him in 2008, and La Grange aux Belles, a 35-acre Biodynamic estate, was born! The two farm organically, using herbal infusions to fight against mildew and vinified with minimal surfer dioxide. Their goal is to make light-bodied aromatic wines, with short macerations and minimal extraction, which we can 100% get behind.
These guys also have a way with packaging, with catchy artwork that makes you want to try the wine without knowing anything about it. Luckily the juice is equally good. 'La Chaussee Rouge' (the red floor) is named after a bloody battle during the War in the Vendée -- pretty grim. Unlike the wine itself, which is a happy, frothy carbonic blend of Cab Franc + Grolleau. The carbo treatment brings out the juicy red fruit, tempering the green and earthy notes of these rustic two grapes. The quintessential summer red, La Chaussee drinks like peppery Gamay or Pinot, especially with a slight chill. A very delicious discovery.
SERVE SLIGHTLY CHILLED