The Wine: La Cave se Rebiffe Pét-Nat Rosé NV
Frantz Saumon’s La Cave Se Rebiffe is a joyously delightful and energetic natural rosè sparkling wine of unique character and personality. Made from organic and biodynamic Gamay and Grolleau grapes grown in Loire’s Montlouis, it sees wild fermentation and is bottled with its sugars and yeasts, which will then allow for the second fermentation. Herbal and fruity nuances intertwine with accents of pink grapefruit, lime zest, and mineral undertones.
The Producer: Frantz Saumon
Frantz Saumon is a characterful and charismatic French vigneron making stunning natural wines in Loire’s Montlouis AOC, on the Loire river’s Southern bank. Before deciding to change his life and beginning to make wine in 2002 he had worked in Canada and France as a forest ranger. The encounter with Domaine Le Briseau’s Christian Chaussard, a veritable legend in the natural wine world, was influential towards this decision and the organic and biodynamic farming that Frantz decided to embrace. He lovingly tends to several plots of Chenin Blanc with an average age of 50, although the most venerable vines can be up to 100 years old. His wines are imbued with a luminous purity, bright focus, and sheer, unbridled joy.
The Region: Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is a vast region located in western France. It stretches from the hills of Auvergne all the way to the Atlantic coast, cut in half by the Loire River. With over 4 million hectoliters of wine per year, the Loire Valley is one of France’s biggest and most diverse wine producing regions. The Lore Valley’s production ranges from every-day quaffable and unpretentious wine to some of the country’s finest whites and reds.
The Terroir of the Loire Valley
Upper Loire sub-region: continental climate, soils are mostly flint and limestone formations. This is the land of Sauvignon Blanc, with Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé being the most famous appellations (AOC).
Touraine sub-region: continental climate, soils can be clay with flint or limestone, and chalk. Chenin Blanc is the main grape varietal for white wines, with Sauvignon Blanc coming in second. Red wines are made mostly from Cabernet Franc.
Anjou sub-region: maritime to continental climate, crumbly and soft soil formation called tuffeau. Anjou is well-known for its Chenin Blanc wines, mostly dry although there are good examples of sweet Chenin Blanc in Coteaux du Layon.
Saumur sub-region: continental to maritime climate, soils are made of tuffeau limestone in this similar to Anjou sub-region. Chenin Blanc is vinified as a sparkling wine with the champenoise method, Cabernet Franc is made into light and peppery wines.
Pays Nantais sub-region: maritime climate, the region stretches to the Atlantic Ocean. Soils are rocky with granite formations. Muscadet is the main grape varietal of this area, known for wines that are mineral, crisp, and refreshing.
The White Wines of Loire Valley
White wines represent the biggest share with about 65% of the total production. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Melon de Bourgogne, and Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne are the most popular grape varietals in the region.
The Red Wines of Loire Valley
Loire Valley reds are very distinct in terms of their style. Light and lean, lively and fruity, easy-drinking and food-friendly, they are some of the best everyday wines on the market. Some of the best examples of this style are made from Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Malbec.
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