Jean-François Mérieau "Bulles"
Wine: Jean-François Mérieau "Bulles"
Region: Touraine (Loire Valley)
Grapes: Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay
I selected the Jean-François Mérieau “Les Bulles” 2010 wine for the May edition of The Vine Club, a subscription wine club I run through The Carriage Wine and Market here in Florence, Alabama. The Carriage is celebrating their 1 year anniversary this coming week and I thought it appropriate to toast my friends Jason and Caleb for an excellent first year. Cheers!
Jean-François has been running his family’s estate since 2000 and is the third generation to carry on the Mérieau tradition of excellent cuvées in the Touraine region of the Loire Valley. He has converted the majority of the 35 hectare estate to organic farming and exercises a light hand in the winery, using native yeasts from vines ranging in age from very young to over 100 years.
“Bulles” translates to ‘bubbles’ and this gem is a lovely example of a dry, easy sparkler made from 80% chenin blanc and 20% chardonnay. Floral and sweet, summer peach on the nose with hints of yeasty, fresh bread followed by succulent fruit, full mouthfeel and long, dry finish that makes you want to keep the bottle to yourself. It’s unusual to find a vintage sparkler with five years of bottle age, especially at a great price, and Jean-François ages his sparklers for at least three years before release. As a result of the extra time in bottle, the wine is beginning to show some lovely nutty aromas. Overall, it’s very friendly, and an ideal celebratory quaff.
P.S. Jean-Francois also makes a second line of delicious wines under the Les Hexagonales label. Honestly, I haven't tasted a disappointing wine from this man yet.