Mix and match with other Direct wines from this producer for minimum purchase of 6 bottles (or equivalent of 4500mL) per producer. Purchases must be in multiples of 6. Ships directly from winery to you in a few weeks - $4/bottle for 12 (+$2 if order less than $400) or more & $6/bottle for 6 (+$2 if order less than $200) per producer.
Our Tasting Impressions
A fascinating and delightful blend of Chardonnay with the Tressalier grape that is unique to Saint Pourçain. You can taste the winemaking patience. I love the juxtaposition of its freshness and mature notes. This is a serious wine that is brightly flavored, impeccably balanced and impressively deep. If you enjoyed Urbain V (did anyone not?), this is a must try!
About this wine
Reflets translates to reflections and Jean-Louis had ample time to reflect on this blend of 65% Chardonnay (strictly his best) and 35% Tressalier. The grapes come from vines planted up to 40 years ago in granite soil. Yields are 43 hl/ha. Harvesting was by machine in the 2nd half of September.
Extraction is by pneumatic press and the varieties are fermented separately in local Allier 350-liter oak barrels. The barrels were new but lightly toasted. They stayed in those barrels for up to 9 months to age before racking and then into steel tanks. There the wine remained for EIGHT YEARS! A light filtration preceded bottling.
About the grape blend
Chardonnay, believed to have originated in Burgundy, is grown everywhere and is the most popular wine variety in the US. Winemakers love the green-skinned grape as well because it’s so easy to grow and adapt to many different production techniques.
Despite its popularity, Chardonnay is viewed by some as lacking in acidity, too buttery and tending to be flabby. In fairness, these characterizations often have more to do with the practice of malolactic fermentation and/or oak aging - both common in Chardonnay production.
Tressallier is a little known grape exclusive to Saint-Pourcain, though it is grown as well in northern Burgundy, where it's called Sacy. It fell out of favor for quite some time. Even Domaine de Bellevue only resumed using it about 20 years ago. It grows in mid-sized clusters and the grapes are juicy and very acidic. It produces light, vivid and very fresh tasting wine that add cut and punch when paired with Chardonnay.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
Domaine de Bellevue is one of the larger domaines in the VDLT portfolio, producing about 120,000 bottles annually from its 22 hectare estate. But everything else about it seems small and intimate - including winemaker Jean-Louis Pétillat who has a warm smile and gentle demeanor.
Jean-Louis' family owned and operated the Domaine for four generations. A few years ago, he sold the estate to Jacques Gautier. To Jacques' credit, he recognizes Jean-Louis' great talent and understanding of the terroir so he gives him full control over farming and vinification decisions. Not having to worry about the business, means Jean-Louis can focus entirely on producing great wine - and does he ever.
Legend has it that Saint-Pourçain is France's oldest vineyard. There is evidence of Roman winemaking here as early as 50 BCE. In the middle ages, Saint-Pourçain was one of the most respected and sought after wines in France. Kings and Popes enjoyed them. Some believe the wines were more highly prized than Burgundy.
Classified as part of the Loire Valley despite being on the far southeast outskirts (not far from Macon in Burgundy). The appellation was granted AOC status in 2009. There are less than 20 growers here.
There are two tracts of vineyards one has granite soil and the other sand and granite. Here, Jean-Louis practices La Lutte Raisonée (sensible sustainability) and intervenes minimally. He fully de-stems prior to the crush.
VDLT is the only North American source for Jean-Louis’ wines.