Jerome Bretaudeau cut his teeth at legendary estates like Jo Landron and Guy Bossard. After setting up in 2005, Jermone’s Domaine de Bellevue is now one of the best in Muscadet. If you’re after quality, Bellevue Muscadet is almost unrivalled. Certified Organic since 2009, Bellevue Muscadet is also from low yielding, hand-harvested, vines.
Bellevue Gabbro comes off an old vineyard planted on an igneous rock known as gabbro. This gives the wine a distinct mineral backbone to the wine. Fermentation in tank with weekly lees stirring helps to add mouthfeel and generous weight. The three single-site wines from Bellevue are amazing transmitters of terroir.
Domaine de Bellevue Gabbro Clos des Bouquinardieres Muscadet 2018 Importer Notes
“This Muscadet “GABBRO” is from gabbro (another type of igneous rock) soils and old vines planted around Vallet; extra time on lees and in bottle has produced a very fine, very mineral wine; tight as a drum yet very silken and sensual, it tastes of flint and stone and is very inspired drinking. Next time one of your customers asks you about ‘terroir’ you could pour them a glass of this by way of explanation. This is one of the great Muscadet’s available today and a worthy alternative to serving Chablis for the rest of this Summer.”
The people in the know are already on this. And probably don’t want the secret to get out. The Loire makes some fantastic wines of all colours and styles, and they are stupidly cheap for the quality.
Can any white wine rival Loire Valley Chenin Blanc for elegance, grace and poise in the cellar? Some Rieslings would give it a run but not much else. Chenin, whether sweet or dry, produces wines with a lovely balance. Taut, unrelenting acidity and pillowy soft fruit that sits on top. The best wines think Savennières, Vouvray and Montlouis, can age for a surprisingly long time. Sancerre and surrounds offers wine lovers a legitimate reason to drink Sauvignon Blanc! Oh, and if Muscadet (made from Melon de Bourgogne) isn’t the very best oyster wine, then I’ll eat my hat.
Get stuck into the stunning sparkling wines that give Champagne a run for its money—at the same time, being such great value that they rival Prosecco and Cava.
And the reds from Cabernet Franc that will make lovers of Burgundy or Bordeaux swoon. Oh! And the Gamay and rose wines. Delicious.
Did I mention they make my favourite sweet wines in the world?
A much smaller area within the great Muscadet appellation. It takes its name from the two rivers which flow through the vines. Undeniably the best Muscadet come from Serve et Maine. The wines here tend to age as well as Vouvray or Sancerre too.
A white wine from the Loire made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape. It is in the far west of the Loire and spreads over a wide area taking in multiple terroirs. For the ultimate match for oysters look no further than this lean, clean wine.
A child of Pinot Blanc and Gouais Blanc, both grapes noted for simple flavours. It does not surprise this produces dry white wines of simple characters. It’s fate and fame lie wholly within the Loire Valley’s Muscadet region.
The land that some many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
It is interesting to know that you can make white wine from almost any grape. The colour comes from the skins, and if there is no contact, there is no colour. White wines tend to be delicate, perfumed, higher in acid and lower in alcohol. It seems for this and many other reasons, it is hard to make an incredibly impressive white wine. But those that have mastered the art are indeed some of the best winemakers in the world.
It is a falsehood to think that white wine does not age as well as red wine. But it is correct that white wine, as a rule, doesn’t age for as long.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.