Above everything else, wine is a crop, born from the labor of farmers and subject to both the good and bad conditions that Mother Nature may dole out each year. The last few years have thrown out more than a few curveballs in many of the world's great winegrowing regions, some inconvenient and others downright cruel. Those issues will color the backdrop of many wines found in the store and featured here over the next few years. Thomas Pico is the owner/winemaker of Chablis house Domaine Pattes Loup, a young but emerging producer that has spent the previous decade developing his family's small estate into an international success. Chablis has always been vulnerable to weather issues because of its position so far North, and 2016 was the first of what turned out to be a back to back double whammy of extremely difficult vintages. Quality had been very good in 2015, but certain issues during that year caused the vines to produce fewer grapes in 2016, greatly limiting the volume. Pico sought out to find fruit elsewhere in France that he could source to make a supplemental wine using Chardonnay that still measured up to his stringent organic/biodynamic principles. He found some in the sparkling wine region of Limoux in the Languedoc, and made what was intended to be a one-time offering, but based on the widespread frost issues of 2017 in France may be necessary next year as well.
Perhaps it's the power of suggestion and having the phrase 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade' in mind, but the aromas are all lemon zest and stone fruits. You don't get that layer of seashell and mineral tone that comes from Chablis famous Kimmeridgian limestone soils, but the cool windswept region of Limoux does provide a bright acidity that one wouldn't expect from the Languedoc. Lots of roundness on the palate from minimal filtration, and the absence of oak allow the bright character to show through as vigorously as possible. While this isn't a wine to make you forget about Chablis, it definitely shows a Chablis maker's hand was used to craft it, and will help to scratch the itches due to come up over the next few years when wines of this price and quality will be so hard to find.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!