Andrew Guard

2018 Sauvignon Gris ‘QUARTZ’, Domaine de Belle Vue

This tasted quite brilliantly in February this year, cool fruited, and reserved with a mineral sheen and butressed and polished perfectly as a passage in Stockinger foudre (the famed Austrian cooper) seems to do to wines. It is a wine of dimension and class with a purity and breadth on the finish that shows Jerome's passage these past few years to become among the very best winemakers in the Loire.

After a disastrous frost in 1709 wiped out most of the mediocre red grapes that were originally planted around Nantes, Louis XIV ordered the growers to come up with a white replacement. They chose a Burgundian grape called the melon, actually an offshoot of Gamay, the grape of Beaujolais.

Jerome Bretaudeau set up on his own in 2005 having made wine for others for the previous 10 years, notably Jo Landron at Domaine de la Louvetrie.

His Domaine de Belle-Vue is today one of the leading lights in the region and the quality of his wines is outstanding, indeed there is an underground buzz on these wines amongst France’s best wine bars and bistros.

Three things set him way apart from the rest and are the reason that his wines are so good; he harvests by hand, his vines yield only 35hl/ha (in a region where 90hl/ha is normal!) and he only uses the available natural yeasts for fermentation. With these principles in mind, Bretaudeau stands beside others in our portfolio like Belliviere, Tue-Boeuf and Foillard.