From 50 year old Chenin Blanc vines, this wine has a delicious fruit driven aroma with subtle hints of honey. The palate is much more linear, giving some bright fresh citrus and then some apricots coming out on the end.
Sébastien Brunet is a man of few words. He assumed control of Domaine Roche Fleurie in 2006, after the untimely passing of Michel, his father. The pair had worked together for six harvests following Sébastien’s graduation from the lycée viticole in Amboise. Michel had inherited some three hectares of vines from his father in 1974 and had quietly built up the domaine to 15 hectares by the time of his death. Some of these holdings are rented rather than owned, belonging to Michel’s brother, Jean, who is now in retirement. The vineyards stretch along the valley of the Brenne, a small tributary that runs perpendicular to the Loire and hosts vines on both the 1ère côteau and the plateau behind.
As opposed to the more conventional Méthode Traditionelle, the Vouvray ‘Le Naturel’ Méthode Ancestrale harks back to a time when things were done differently. Fermentation starts as is normal, in either tank or old barrels, and when Brunet believes the wine has reached a point of ‘balance’ between alcohol, residual sugar and acidity, the wine is bottled. It is then riddled as usual, but in effect, there is no second fermentation performed and any remaining sugar is natural rather than added by way of a dosage.