There’s little I love more than being outdoors, relaxing in nature. A glass of wine outdoors isn’t too shabby either. My latest outdoor sip was Domaine de Bellevue La Justice IGP Val de Loire 2019.
About Domaine de Bellevue
Not far from the Atlantic coastline, in Grétigné in Pays Nantais, France, is the domaine of Jerome Bretaudeau—Domaine de Bellevue. After 15 years of working for wineries in the region, he worked the two hectares of vines (which he had inherited from his father) and began his own cellar.
Today, the 15-hectare vineyard is divided into white (10 hectares) and red (five hectares), where he cultivates 10 different varietals in diverse soils. He owns Melon de Bourgogne vines (90%), as well as Chardonnay, Savagnin, Folle Blanche, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon Gris, which are rare for the area. For his reds, you can find Cabernet Franc (40%), Gamay noir with white juice (12%), Merlot (40%), Pinot Noir (20%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (12%).
About His Methods
Jerome uses organic practices and traditional winemaking, along with a unique approach to his cuvée selection. Rather than selecting only from “lieu dit” (named) sites, he harvests by age of vine per each soil type. This way, he learns what each vine brings to his cellar as they age.
He replants by Massal Selection for the long-term benefits of increasing individuality and uniqueness in the wine. His vineyards benefit from gabbrox from ancient volcanic activity (very raw in texture in the wine) and older granite/schist (for a rounder expression). His vineyards became certified organic in 2012 and biodynamic in 2020.
When it comes to making wine, Jérome experiments a lot with stainless steel tanks, tuns, barrels, concrete eggs, and amphorae for his vinification and aging.
About the Wine
This cuvée is made from a blend of Chardonnay and Savagnin (a traditional Jura grape variety), which is out of the norm in the Nantes vineyard. It is aged in ovoid vats for 14 months. In this giant egg, the lees are permanently raised by an internal vortex-shaped current. The wine also benefits from micro-oxygenation from the porosity of the material made up of limestone and clay. It is not filtered or fined before bottling.
The Domaine de Bellevue La Justice was pale yellow in color with a slight hint of green. On the nose, I smelled pear, golden apple, and herbs. On the palate, it was dry, light-medium bodied, balanced acidity, with a medium+ finish. It tasted of pear, lemon, lime, stone fruit, and minerality. This was a delicious and very drinkable natural wine. I enjoyed it with my hubby underneath a lychee tree. I purchased it at Vino Nueva for $43.