Ageing a wine in a concrete egg allows gentle micro-oxygenation (like when using oak barrels), without the addition of any complicating aromas and flavours that come about with wood contact. So, arguably the resulting wine is a more pure expression.
In need of replenishing our stocks we decided to head west and collect our order from Jérémie Mourat, based in Mareuil-sur-Lay in the heart of Fiefs Vendéens. This appellation, which was granted in 2011 (it was a VDQS region beforehand), is one of the Loire’s lesser known names. All the more interesting for that, it produces a wide range of wine styles from a varied pallet of grape varieties. Whites from Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay, rosés from Grolleau Gris and Pinot Noir, reds from Gamay, Pinot Noir and Negrette.
I’m sure that most of you reading this are aware the 2102 vintage is being billed as a catastrophic one and will therefore be expecting to read of doom and gloom. Take heart, there are some great wines out there and while they may be in short supply as yields were seriously down, prices remain stable and growers optimistic for 2013.