(Soings en Sologne/Loire, France)
In the heart of the Sologne, Julien Courtois and his sweetheart Heidi Kuka cultivate their estate dubbed 'Clos de la Bruyere, which is approximately 4.5 hectares of vines all around 40 years old and recovered from obscurity. In the spirit of his father, following in the tradition of natural winemaking, Julien has worked tirelessly to reinvigorate long damaged soils so they might be brought back into harmony with nature. Everything is done manually with little sulfur added at bottling, if any; Julien is a non-interventionist winemaker, never relying on herbicides or pesticides, only organic processes from start to finish. The vine rows are left to carefully landscaped vegetation - herbs and flowers - providing for a variety of fauna that are able to roam freely through the vineyards. With the vines - Romorantin, Menu-Pineau, Gascon, Cot and a variety of Gamay clones - growing harmoniously in deep silica and silex-dotted red clay, Julien has managed to produce wines of elegance, concentration and best of all sincerity.
Vin de France,’Autochtone’
Grapes are handpicked in small batches and fermented after pigeage with natural yeasts before being assembled into tonneaux to finish fermentation. The wine is then aged for eighteen months in fût before being bottled without filtering or fining.
Vin de France, ‘Originel
80% Menu Pineau, 20% Romorantin
Grapes for this dry white are handpicked at the height of maturity and then immediately pressed in small batches in old fûts. Fermentation occurs with only natural yeasts before the wine is allowed to age on lees until it is ready. It is bottled after one racking, without filtering or fining, and with minimal SO2. Yields about 20 hL/ha.
Vin de France,’Ancestral’
“Ancestral” is made from a unique blend of Gamay Chaudenay, Gamay Beaujolais, Gamay (from Franc de Pied vines), Gascon and some Côt. There is a one-week maceration after pigeage in small resin tanks. Finally, it is blended in tonneaux barrels and fermented using wild yeasts before being rested in barrel for eighteen months until it is ready to rack. It is bottled with low SO2 without filtration or fining.
Vin de France, Chaudenay, “Element”
A unique wine compased of a rare tenturier grape varietal named Gamay-Chaudenay, is uplifting, sensual and juicy and yet the most balanced of the trio. The wine spends 12-18 months in foudre.
Vin de France, Gamay "100%"
From un-grafted Gamay vines growing on the rocky slopes of the Sologne, the wine has incredible minerality with slightly green notes mixed with earth; an intoxicating nose of blackberry and black currant juiciness - refreshing to the end.