2019 Patrice Colin "Gris Bodin" VV AOC Coteaux du Vendômois, Loire Valley, FR
Blend: Pineau D’Aunis From: Vendômois, Loire, France
For someone wanting to bring a bit of spice into their lives, this wine is it. Pineau d'Aunis a dark-skinned wine grape variety whose story began in the Loire Valley in the Middle Ages. Despite once being popular with royalty on both sides of the English Channel, the variety is now increasingly rare, and is limited to a role in the rosés and light reds of the central Loire.
Coteaux du Vendômois is a small AOP (350 hectares total, shared by 14 producers) that was officially formed in 2001 – but the history of wine production goes back as far as the 11th century. After phylloxera hit, the predominant grape varieties changed from; Surin (Cabernet Sauvignon), Auvernat Noir (Pinot Noir), Miller (Pinot Meunier), Côt (Malbec) and Sémillon to: Pineau d'Aunis, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay. The soils are silex (flint) which are ideal for the preferred varieties, Chenin Blanc and Pineau d’Aunis. There is a large cooperative producing 60% of the area’s total production, however half of it is Vin de France; so in fact Colin is the largest producer of AOP Coteaux du Vendômois wines.
Emilien Colin started selling wine in 1900, but the family history goes back to 1735. Eighth generation Patrice Colin runs the estate. He came back home after having made wine in Greece, Germany and Anjou. He takes care of all operations from vineyard work to vinification and bottling; his wife Valérie oversees accounting, and their son-in-law Florian is in charge of sales and shipping. The family is helped by only one full time employee and some seasonal ones. The total production is 150,000 bottles, of which 50,000 are sparkling wine.
Farming/vinification practices: certified organic since 1988! Patrice encourages biodiversity and is proud to count over 150 different plant species in his vineyard. He works with very old vines and uses massal selection. He uses indigenous yeasts and his wines go through long fermentations. Vinification is in stainless steel and oak barrels depending on the cuvee. The oak is seasoned at least three years before it becomes a barrel. He filters but does not fine. His wines are pure and alive, completely clean and also very friendly for our vegan friends out there.
Taste: Fresh balance of grapefruit, and raspberries with a spicy pepper finish.
Pairing: Complements well with fresh salmon, roasted chicken dinner, fine cheeses or charcuterie. With the holidays right around the corner this would also pair well with a red berry based vegan salad or fruit pie.
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