2013 Domaine Jousset Bubulle Montlouis Petillant
Until recently, Montlouis was considered not much more than Vouvray's sidekick. As interest in the wines from the Loire Valley has exploded over the last decade, there's been a shift and this appellation has come into its own.
Located in Touraine on the left bank of the Loire River opposite Vouvray, many young vignerons have come straight to Montlouis as land is less expensive. Bertrand and Lise Jousset, Loire Valley natives, knew they wanted to work with Chenin Blanc and when, in 2003, they found out about a small property that was for rent in Montlouis, they shelved other plans to move to Montpellier and jumped on it instead.
Lise grew up on a dairy farm in Deux Sevres, a town that is slightly south Nantes. Her introduction to the wine world started while she was working as a server in restaurants in London and France. Soon enough, she joined the ranks of sommeliers in Paris.
Bertrand was the son of a butcher in Chartres. He spent six years in the military before enlisting in a viticulture program in Amboise. Afterward, he worked under Michel Auge in Loir et Cher, then went to Switzerland and finally was with Vigneau-Chevreau in Vouvray when the golden opportunity came.
The land had previously been farmed conventionally so the Jousset's, who were firmly committed to organic viticulture, had their work cut out for them. Another uncertainty lay in the long-term use of the land as the Jousset's were renting it until this year. Now they are the proud owners but in the first few vintages when yields were down and money was scarce, things were a bit touch and go.
Roughly speaking, Bertrand is in charge of the vineyards and Lise takes over when indoors. They've taken great pains to reinstate true microbial activity into the soil and ensure there is a proper balance of plant and animal life in the vineyards. The wines are fermented with wild yeasts, aged in a mix of older 225, 400 and 600 liter barrels and bottled with little to no sulfur.
Since coming on the scene, Jousset has been hailed as one of the rising stars in the Loire Valley and the natural wine world. The wines are clean, unpretentious and bubble over with the terroir of Montouis' limestone based soil.
The nose here is natural, biodynamic Loire Chenin Blanc at its best. A playful mix of stone fruits, white chalky notes, some toasty richness and faint bready flavors come exploding across the palate. The finish is all delicate fizz and dried apricot skin. The wine is as playful and the truly adorable label. Cannot get enough from this young Domaine.
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