2016 Julien Braud Forty Ounce Rose
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Wine Details on 2016 Julien Braud Forty Ounce Rose
|Region||Loire: Loire Valley has it all. Whether you prefer some of the most famous grape varieties worldwide, or you like to be surprised with secretly brilliant wines, Loire Valley will make you return any time you have a chance. It's unquestionably one of the most diverse, and sometimes unjustly neglected, wine regions in France. Located on the banks of the Loire river, these vineyards are home to some of the most exquisite French wines. And not only does Loire Valley provide us with top-rated wines each year, but it also deserves applause for the number of bottles it produces. |
The most prominent grape varieties of Loire are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne. They are undoubtedly the crown jewels of this region, although reds, such as Cabernet Franc, Bourgueil, or Pinot Noir don't fall much behind.
With such exceptional grape varieties, it's impossible to think the Loire wouldn't treat us all with absolutely magnificent wines. It offers a wide palette of crisp and refreshing whites, as well as dry, elegant reds. To feel the magic and the impeccable quality of Loire wines, we recommend Domaine Didier Dagueneau, Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin, or Domaine Huet of Le Haut Lieu.
|Country||France: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.|
|Type of Wine||Loire (Other): In this underrated French wine region, you will certainly have a chance to taste popular Cabernet Franc blends, known for their emphasized fruity flavors. Other widely cultivated varieties are Gamay, Malbec and Pinot Noir. Some of the most exquisite white wines from Loire contain creamy and refreshing Chardonnay grapes, as well as Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne, and Sauvignon Blanc.|
|Varietal||Muscadet: The Loire Valley has long been considered one of the largest contributors of fine wines and overall volume, boasting one of the greatest production rates in all of France. The nation’s third largest wine region is known as much for its output as it is for its production of quality whites. The Loire has a complex and varying set of micro-climates and terroirs which enable an incredibly diverse array of wines. Among these is the famed Muscadet (named for the appellation in which it resides) but little do consumers know of the grape behind this ubiquitous wine: Melon de Bourgogne (or simply Melon). |
On the northwestern coast of France and just a few miles inland from where the Loire River meets the Atlantic Ocean resides Muscadet, the key wine appellation of the Pays Nantais (largest and most important Muscadet winegrowing district) and where the Melon de Bourgogne varietal thrives. Pays Nantais boasts an array of diverse growing conditions and the largest amount of Melon hectares under vine in France. Unfortunately, with such a wide repertoire of white grape varietals grown in Loire, Muscadet has often been overlooked and underappreciated, despite it being one of the most widely planted varieties in France.
Muscadet is the most famous varietal expression of Melon de Bourgogne; introduced to the region in 1709 after a vicious winter destroyed many of the Loire’s vines and around the same time it was expelled from its native homeland of Burgundy. What the Dukes of Burgundy regarded as an over productive variety of little viticultural interest, growers in the Loire saw the cold-resistant answer to their troubles. Muscadet has all but disappeared from Burgundy, but has thrived on the Atlantic Coast amidst a population with a propensity for seafood. The physical and political landscape of Pays Nantais has created an extremely niche terroir, one that is rooted in Muscadet (Melon grape) and those who continue to produce it.
Within Pays Nantais, there are four distinct winegrowing locations of which are allowed to produce Muscadet exclusively, most notably, the larger Muscadet AOP (Protected Designation of Origin) and its sub-appellations, Muscadet Cotes de Grandlieu, Muscadet de Loire and Muscadet Serve-et-Main (named for the two Rivers which convene at its location). These locations are not only devoted to the Melon grape, but also perfectly attuned to the varietal, in regards to climate and terroir.
The climate of Pays Nantais and all its appellations are chiefly temperate oceanic, with precipitation evenly spread throughout the year. There are variations in climate between one end of the region and the other caused by their varying distances from the coast, the Loire and other expanses of water. The climate helps to play a part in the region’s terroir, which is also a complex and interesting scenario which involves much variation.
The soil drains exceptionally well, allowing potassium and magnesium rich deposits to form in the lower soil horizons below layers of silt, clay and sand. The soil makeup of the region varies by distance of terroir from the Loire River, Loire Estuary or ridge outcrops of the Armoricain Massif. Soils farther from the river and estuary tend to be more dominant in schist and granite while those near the river are more silt, sand and clay dominant. These soils of the Pays Nantais though varied, are often praised for attributing minerality and earthen tasting notes to the locally grown Muscadet. These qualities contribute to the wines distinctive aroma and flavors that are omnipresent in the wines produced.
Melon de Bourgogne is not a particularly flavorful variety, so without care in the vineyard and attentive winemaking, the wines run the danger of being rather bland and featureless. To glean as much flavor and character from the grape ‘must’ (freshly crushed grape juice) as possible, many wines are left in the Sur Lie Method (ageing on the lees) for a minimum of 6 months. The greatest examples of Sur Lie wines typically come from Muscadet Serve-et-Maine.
Serve-et-Maine is the largest sub-appellation which produces Muscadet wine in the Sur Lie. It is one of the few appellations that are certified in the implementation of this method. The combination of volcanic, metamorphic and alluvial soils leading to high levels of magnesium, calcium and potassium make this not only an important growing location but also a perfectly suited habitat for Melon, allowing the grapes to be fashioned into flavorful and straightforward wines. The Sur Lie method is becoming more and more popular as winegrowers and makers are “re-inventing” Muscadet in an attempt to bring more worldwide recognition to the wine.
In the Vineyard, Melon buds early and vigorously, meaning that even in the event of spring frosts, a second budding is still capable of producing a reasonable yield. The only major vulnerability is its susceptibility to mildew, though this affliction is less likely in the cool climate. In the winery, the fashion is to subject the best Melon grapes to extended lees contact (Sur Lie) and sometimes barrel maturation. This results in wines of greater depth, texture and complexity, albeit at a higher price.
The Melon grape generally exhibits distinct qualities of high acidity, dry character, saline (sea spray) and mineral tasting notes (greatly contributed by the terroir in which it is cultivated). The finest examples of Muscadet produced by Melon de Bourgogne are described as having flavors of lime, lemon, green apple, green pear and salinity (suggestive of the region’s maritime geography) with aromas of yeast, flinty minerality and sea shells with a smooth texture, friendly, approachable nature, and the propensity to pair solely with seafood, which is not only unique to the region but to the global wine market.
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