Lise et Bertrand Jousset Pétillant Naturel Exilé Blanc
Region: Montlouis < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, shist/gneiss soils, 20-50 year-old vines, minimal added SO2
Winemaker: Bertrand & Lise Jousset
From a young couple, non-interventionist vintners Lise and Bertrand, who tend their 25 small vine parcels by hand without chemicals, comes this thoroughly dry, gently sparkling Pétillant Originel, a bubbly style from Montlouis, often called Pétillant Naturel, or Pet’Nat. Pétillant Originel, which won AOC status in 2007, must be absolutely natural, nothing added. It is illegal to add sugar or yeast at any stage of the wine’s production, although both are required in Champagne.
Their approach is simple (and makes you wonder why one would work any other way): “we want to make wines that express their character and their origins, in other words ‘living wines.’ For this we need living soils with great microbial activity and living vineyards with a balanced animal and vegetal life in our parcels. This firmly excludes herbicides that kill the soils, fertilizers that maintain the plant by “feeding-tube” deprived of its natural nourishment, and pesticides that pollute our environment. And for us, no “cooking” in the cellar! We let our wines make themselves naturally without the use of oenologic products – sometimes a little sulfur and only what’s necessary! Fermentations are with wild yeasts, of course – they are the soul of our wines as they transmit their origins, the terroir and the vintage.”
Less fizzy than Champagne, this is creamy and bone dry, with apple, lemon, stone and chalky notes. So delicious, it puts many more expensive sparklers to shame!