Julien has taken over the reins of Clos Roche Blanche with Laurent Saillard and he now works in the cellar that Dider & Catherine once used, which is perfectly situated right underneath where the pressing of the grapes happens so the wine can fall with gravity straight down to his tanks and barrels. On the surface he has a very straightforward laissez-faire approach, but he very much knows what he is doing. None of his wines have added sulphur and are unfiltered and unfined.
Previous vintages have always been 100% Pineau d'Aunis; the key ingredient of the eponymous 'sucettes' (lollipops) that give the wine its name. But this year, owing to a difficult vintage, the yield has been low meaning the wine is now blended roughly 50/50 with a dose of appropriately juicy Gamay. the d'Aunis is a very distinctive grape that favours the cool climate of the Loire Valley. Its fruit is a mix of tart red and black berries that have been topped with a dusting of finely ground white pepper - combine this with the pepper and violet of the Gamay and you've a little thriller in your glass.