Noëlla Morantin Mon Cher 2019 MAGNUM

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Touraine, Loire, France
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, minimal additional sulphites
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<<Imported directly and exclusively by Wayward Wines>>

Noëlla produces some truly beautiful Gamay, but sadly there is not very much of it to go around! This year we managed to get hold of some Mon Cher in magnums only. It's made using the traditional Beaujolais technique of macération carbonique, a process that gently extracts maximum fruit and minimal tannins from the wine. To provide some harmony, and to smooth down some of the spiky, brisk character that wines made with this method can sometimes display, the wine is then put into old barrels for an élevage of around 18 months, or until the wine is completely dry. The finished wine has an impressive velvet texture, with just the right amount of edge creeping in. The fruit is deep and spicy. Perhaps the bigger bottle is the perfect format for such a compelling wine.

Since starting to make wine in 2001, Noëlla has trained with and worked alongside some of the great names of the Loire. A couple of years with Agnès and René Mosse in Anjou led to her becoming the vineyard manager at Les Bois Lucas after becoming friends with Junko Ara, then onto renting parcels of the feted Clos Roche Blanche estate in Touraine from Catherine Roussel and Didier Barrouillet. She now makes wine with fruit from a mixture of owned and rented parcels at her beautiful cellar carved out of the hillside in Thésée; a testament to her hard work and determination over the last 18 years.

Noëlla chooses to work under the more general VDF denomination rather than AOC and her wines stand apart from the perceived notion of Touraine. “If it doesn’t smell like cat piss, you don’t get the appellation” she quips - but only half jokingly. She refers to the prevalence of industrial yeasts used in the area to enhance supposedly typical flavours in the wine. Noella ferments with native yeasts and seeks a longer maturation period in old barrels than is usual, meaning her wines are released much later than many other producers nearby. This patience is rewarded with sublime depth and texture in the wine; rich and fully-ripened Sauvignon Blanc, deep-fruited Cabernet Franc and velvet-soft Malbec.