Unchaptalised, lower alcohol wine from the Gamay Noir grape
We know, you know, everyone knows that the Gamay Noir grape will never produce a great wine. It is simply not in the same league as the Shiraz, Cabernets and Merlots of this world.
However, it has an inherent advantage over all the big guys: it naturally produces wine with a moderate alcohol content that is light and refreshing.
At harvest time, most Gamay producers’ grapes weigh in at 10° to 11°. The fermenting wine is then chaptalised which means that sugar is added to bump up the alcohol level in the finished wine, commonly to 12.5° or 13°. This is missing the point. Why chaptalise? Sugar, after all will never replace the sun. The whole point of Gamay is about a light, fruity style that other grapes simply cannot do. This is why we do not chaptalise. This implies detailed work in the vines to produce grapes sufficiently ripe that they do not need extra sugar. This in accordance with our policy of non interventionist wine-making. We are the only producer in the Côte Roannaise to make natural, unchaptalised wine. Even the organic producers deem it neccessary to add sugar beet (and not even organic sugar beet) to their wine.
Read more about hands-off winemaking
Red wine in the Côte Roannaise appelation
We produce red and rosé wines typical of the Gamay Noir grape that naturally perform at 11° to 11.5°. We have taken this a step further with our wine called L'Expression. Not only is it unchaptalised but it is also without sulfites or any other additive of any kind. It is therefore a 100% natural wine, designed as the purest, unadulterated expression of the Côte Roannaise granit terroir.
The recent addition of Viognier and Chardonnay wines to our range prove the point. These white wines come in at 13° and even 14° for the late harvest Viognier. All unchaptalised, of course. These grape varieties are only fully ripe at this level of alcohol.
A pink sparkling with only 8° alcohol !
Our most popular wine is a naturally made (méthode ancestrale) pink sparkler with only around 8° alcohol. One could even argue that it represents the best expression of the Gamay grape. Its unique style is based on the balance between its freshness and the sweet touch due to the residual unfermented sugar which keeps the alcohol level low.
Was on the World's Best Restaurant's wine list
The 7 served at NOMA (Copenhagen), the World's Best Restaurant for the 2nd year running.