2018 Domaine de Bellevue (Jérôme Bretaudeau) Val de Loire La Justice
Viticulture: Certified organic, official biodynamic conversion
Vinification: Indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged for 14 months in 800-liter amphorae
About the producer:
Jérôme Bretaudeau is one of a small handful of serious, young winemakers devoted to the compelling terroir of Muscadet, the most western appellation in the Loire Valley. After 15 years of working for wineries in the region, he scraped enough tanks and barrels together to begin his own cellar. Situated along the Atlantic Coast where the Loire empties into the ocean, Muscadet enjoys a cold, maritime climate that combines with granitic soils composed of igneous rocks, silica pebbles, white and pink quartz, to create low alcohol, high acid wines with pronounced minerality and complexity.
In stark contrast to most of Muscadet, which is dominated by overcropped, industrial-production cooperatives, Domaine de Belle Vue comprises 12 hectares of organically-certified vineyards in active transition to full biodynamic viticulture. Jérôme is, moreover, innovative and experimental, crafting wines not only from the appellation’s signature Melon de Bourgogne but also from eccentric cuvées of Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc. He has a mind for organic practices and traditional wine making, along with a clever approach to his cuvee selection. Rather than selecting only from 'lieu dit' sites (named sites), he harvests by age of vine per each soil type. This way he can learn what each vine will bring to his cellar as they come to age. Jerome is an intelligent young vigneron, learing while he builds his new domaine.