Bulles as a rule. A wine we look forward to every year, Pink Bulles is heavenly sparkling Gamay from the Auvergne; that outlying, most southerly reach of the Loire valley where the river rises and the soils are a mixed patchwork of granite, sand and clay, owing to the chain of long-extinct volcanoes that were once found here. The wine is an absolute joy to drink; lots of the expected strawberry and cherry fruit, and the wine has the most beautiful colour - this year a soft pastel pink, just the gentlest of blush, really. Then come the more unexpected flavours of amaro-esque bitter orange, pink grapefruit and a twang of sour stone fruit. A wine of immediate pleasure and absolute essential drinking when chasing the rays. Huge tip!
Jean Maupertuis tends 3.8 hectares of vines in the commune of Saint-Georges-sur-Allier and La Roche Noir in the Auvergne. Jean doesn’t use chemical fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides in the vineyard, preferring to work his soils and develop their indigenous microflora. Everything is hand harvested and manually sorted before reaching the cellar. Most of Jean’s wines are vinified through carbonic maceration, which permits him to avoid adding sulphur at bottling. A former computer scientist, Jean always loved wine, and to that end he bought a small parcel for fun in 1992, before finally leaving his job to study oenology in Macon. Jean was drawn to natural wine through Marcel Lapierre, although it took some time for him to familiarise himself with this approach to winemaking. He then visited Pierre Overnoy and Jean Thevenet and decided he wanted to emulate them. He now joins a district group of ‘Auvergnats’ which also numbers the likes of Patrick Bouju, L’Arbre Blanc and Vincent & Marie Tricot, whose wine you will also be able to find here at Wayward.