Fun Mineral-Filled White Blend From the Loire Valley

Today’s Story: Domaine de Bellevue

Domaine de Bellevue was established by Jérôme Brétaudeau in the Muscadet wine region of France’s Loire Valley. Not far from the Atlantic Ocean, the domaine sits in a maritime climate on granite soils where the wines are often low in alcohol and high in acidity with pronounced mineral characteristics. Domaine de Bellevue consists of 12 hectares (30 acres) of vineyards which are all farmed organically since 2009. Jérôme is in the process of moving to full biodynamic viticulture now. Jérôme works with 11 different varieties which is somewhat unusual in the region, and they include Merlot, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Gris, Savagnin, and Chardonnay to name a few. Winemaking here is rather traditional and minimally invasive so the wines can express themselves and the terroir in honest fashion, and they typically age in concrete eggs or clay amphorae.

Today’s Wine: 2019 La Justice

75% Chardonnay, 25% Savagnin; 12% ABV

The 2019 La Justice is pale gold in color. Given some time to open up in the glass, the aromas are of pronounced intensity and the nose showcases notes of yellow apple skins, lemon peel, stone fruit, white lily, flint, oyster shell, sea salt, and vanilla bean. There’s also a note somewhat reminiscent of cotton candy. Meanwhile the flavors are of medium intensity and the palate displays notes of baked yellow apple, ripe pear, tropical citrus, white floral blossom, dill, chalk, and brine. This dry white blend is medium-bodied with high acidity, medium alcohol, and a long finish. Very fun and enjoyable to drink.

Price: $46. I think this is pretty fairly priced and even a good value given its complexity, balance, length, and fun factor. While the palate isn’t as intense as the nose, there are a lot of great factors at play here and this even reminds me a little bit of white Burgundy but with a heavier mineral presence.