L'Aunis Etoilé 2018
A Wine That
takes the whole room by surprise. No, we promise there's not actually pepper IN the glass, that's just Pineau d'Aunis—the mindbogglingly delicious indigenous grape variety from this region. If you're a pepper friend like we are, this is your jam: think black pepper, thyme and blackberries with a good measure of white pepper, too. Spice, spice, baby... You know you want to.
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- Delivery: Delivery and gift wrapping options available at checkout.
- Winemaker: Deboutbertin
Where & How?
This is the ancient variety, Pineau d’Aunis, which is also known as Chenin Noir. One of the secret stars of the Loire Valley, the variety is being seen more and more, grown and defended by artisan farmers and winemakers. Farmed biodynamically by Stéphanie, Vincent and their horses.
The bunches were sorted, before being stomped by foot in an open vat and left to macerate with the berries and stems for fifteen days, when fermentation began naturally. Pressed gently by wooden basket press, the wine was then transferred to old barrels and aged for just over a year. Bottled unfined, unfiltered and with no sulphur: this is just fermented grape juice.
Stéphanie Debout and Vincent Bertin (hence Deboutbertin) met at university while studying engineering. They moved to Paris, but quickly became disillusioned with city life and pined for the countryside. One of their friend’s fathers, Jean-Philippe Fichet, is a winemaker in Burgundy, and on a trip to visit him they became entranced by his passion for the craft of winemaking. That was that. They decided to go and do a vintage with a winemaker in the Loire in 2011 to test the waters, and in Stéphanie’s words, it was love at first sight. They had fallen for the vigneron life. By 2012, they had handed in their resignation notices, bought a house and a vineyard, and signed up for winemaking school.
For them, the most important thing is the overall health of their vineyards. This has brought them to agroforestry, and they now interplant their vineyards with trees. In doing so, they break the monocultural mould of the vineyard, instead creating an area in which other species of plants can thrive. This is a young couple who demonstrate vinous minimalism in the best way possible. These are pure wines of soul that have nothing added, nothing taken away. They speak of healthy vineyards, healthy people and a love for nature. People often debate what natural wine is; well, it doesn’t get more natural than this.