Julien Delrieu, 2018 Le Jeau, Vin de France
50% Cabernet Franc, 50% Grolleau
Soils in Le Jeau vineyard are made up of clay and schist over schist bedrock.
Whole cluster foot-tread fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Aged in neutral oak puncheons. Less than minimal sulfur used.
Grolleau is an historic varietal of the Loire that, until recently, was generally over-cropped and used mostly for blending or producing cheap sweet rosé. In the right hands, however, it can produce a very bright sensual red wine and blended with Cabernet Franc, as in this case, it rounds off the harder edges of the more tannic varietal and sweetens up the fruit just a bit. In the past 10 years it has been experiencing a much deserved renaissance in the Loire valley.
This dark wine shows telltale Cabernet Franc notes of schist driven minerals that frame the sweet red fruit brought by the Grolleau. The tannins are well-coated but provide a fine gritty texture that make this wine remarkably food friendly. Try with spicy food for a true revelation.