Blog: Producer Newsletters

  • Montlouis’ New Wave

    May 1st, 2014

    Montlouis’ New Wave

    Lise et Bertrand Jousset, Montlouis-sur-Loire
    Every time I see Bertrand and Lise Jousset, I am reminded of how happy I am to have them as part of the Return to Terroir family. Not only are the wines getting better with each vintage but also their integrity as vignerons is beyond question.
    Jousset’s wines at Racines Paris

    Interest in wines from Montlouis has exploded over the last decade, and Lise and Bertrand Jousset have become a reference for the appellation within the Paris’ wine community. Learn about how Lise and Bertrand established themselves in Montlouis, and how I discovered their wines in our first newsletter about them last year.

    Old vines for the Singulier cuvée

    In the last ten years they’ve done a miraculous job transforming conventionally farmed land to lively, organic vineyards.

    While visiting them during the Caravan 2014 trip this winter, I had a chance to taste more wines from them, including a new series called Éxilé (bottled as Vin de France). As with most Loire Valley vignerons, Lise and Bertrand were hit hard by the hail and rain of recent vintages.

    In order to maintain production they contracted with several growers to source fruit, not compromising their standards on great terroir and organic farming. In 2012 they produced two sparking and one still wine from this fruit- and thus, Éxilé was born.

    Old barrels in the Jousset cellar built into the tuffeau limestome hill along the Loire river

    We will also be working with two additional wines bottled under the Jousset label, Singulier and Les Audouines. And we can’t wait for the new vintage of long time favorite, Premier Rendez-Vous.

    The timing could not be better as Bertrand is visiting California in 2 weeks. He will be inSan Francisco from May 14-18 and Los Angeles from May 19-21, so please contact your rep to schedule an appointment.

    Here are the wines that will be available during his visit:

    Exilé Pétillant Naturel Blanc (Vin de France)

    100% Chenin Blanc

    This “petnat” undergoes its secondary fermentation in bottle, as is the case with Champagne, but it is also bottled non-dose. The vineyards are 20-50 years old and all of the grapes are picked by hand. Half of the juice was fermented in 400-600-liter barrels while the other 50% was fermented in tank. It was bottled in June and disgorged in January. Delicate with fine bubbles, apples and chalky notes. Production: 2,500 bottles | Suggested Retail Price: $21

    Exilé Pétillant Naturel Rosé (Vin de France)

    100% Cabernet Franc

    This is the first year for Exilé series, wines that made from purchased grapes that are also farmed organically. Made from a 20-year-old vineyard on clay and limestone in St. Nicolas de Bourgeuil,  it was hand harvested and naturally fermented in eight-year-old 400 liter barrels. It was bottled in February and disgorged in June. It has fine bubbles and a mélange of raspberries, currants and strawberries on the palate. Production: 7,000 bottles |  Suggested Retail Price: $21

    Éxilé Blanc Tranquille (Vin de France)

    100% Chenin Blanc

    Made from purchased organic grapes in Anjou (some from Savennieres), this wine really surprised me. The vineyard sources are 20 to 70 years old. All of the fruit is hand harvested and naturally fermented in eight year old 400-600 liter barrels. It spends an additional eight months in barrel before it is bottled. It has charming aromatics of white peaches and green apples, enhanced by a vibrant minerality and long finish. Production: 6,000 bottles | Suggested Retail Price: $24

    Vin de France, Les Audouines 2012

    100% Chardonnay

    If you enjoy vibrant, clean Chardonnay, this wine is for you. Made from 20 year old vines on clay and siliceous limestone, Les Audouines is a mineral driven wine. Fermented using natural yeast in tank and aged for an additional six months, it is a crisp, mineral driven Chardonnay with smoke and citrus. Production: 800 bottles | Suggested Retail Price : $24

    Montlouis-sur-Loire, “Premier Rendez-Vous” 2012

    100% Chenin Blanc

    This might the wine that is most emblematic of the Jousset style. Using two of their vineyards, a plot of 70 year old vines with soil composed of clay and flint and a plot of 40 year old vines with soil composed of sand and flint, both on a limestone base, it is a great example of Montlouis and Chenin Blanc. Hand harvested and naturally fermented in one to eight year old 400-600 liter barrels it is aged for six to seven months and then the wine from the two vineyards is blended and rested for another month in cuve. Razor sharp and piquant with floral overtones, stone fruits, citrus and a savory herbal quality with a racy minerality woven throughout, this wine balances power and elegance. Production: 6,000 bottles | Suggested Retail Price: $26

    Montlouis-sur-Loire, “Singulier” 2012

    100% Chenin Blanc

    The Singulier comes from 60-80 year old vines planted in one of the highest esteemed pieces of terroir in Montlouis- Clos Renard.  It was hand harvested and fermented naturally in one to three year old 400-600 liter barrels. The wine remains in barrel for one year after fermentation. Powerful and complex with  both richness and crisp mineral notes this is a formidable wine balanced by citrus, floral and white fruits, and a savory finish. Production: 1,200 bottles | Suggested Retail Price: $44
    Read the Wine Terroirs article on Lise and Bertrand Jousset: