Petite Nature
Chalouper 2022

  • Region Quintenas, Ardèche, France
  • Grapes Merlot & Viognier
  • Vineyard Organic
  • Cellar Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
  • ABV 13%
  • Size 750ml

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About the Wine

A direct-press of mainly Merlot, harvested at Domaine les Deux Terres in the south of the Ardèche, blended with a little Viognier from Domaine des Bardes in the north. After a little time resting in our cellar it is now shaping up to be a beautiful, deeply coloured rosé for the summer.

Reminiscent of a very pale Poulsard in the glass, Chalouper entices from the off. Aromatically the wine gives off an interesting mix of fruit salad aromas, with some herby garrigue and spice. On the palate it is nicely chiseled, with a more-ish grenadine-esque quality, red berries and almond-y cherrystones, into some sating bitters in the long, savoury finish.

The Merlot was de-stemmed and given a slow vertical press into fibreglass cuve, where it was blended with the Viognier from another vinification. It was aged on the lees for nine months, then bottled with no additions at all in late May 2023. We have just a couple of cases of this latest delight from the Petite Nature cellar.

About Petite Nature

Pauline Maziou is the definition of the grassroots, artisanal winemaker. Paulette, as she is known to her friends, began her Petite Nature project in 2019 with just a half hectare of vines near the village of Quintenas in the north of the Ardèche and a production of around 2000 bottles. The wines were, and still are, made in a tiny cellar beneath her home, that is crammed full of tanks, barrels and various pieces of manual winemaking equipment. It is a cottage industry to say the least, but the wines that emerge from this unassuming space are nothing short of stunning.

Originally from this part of France, she returned to follow the path of winemaking after leaving a media job in the city in pursuit of a lifestyle more in touch with, and in respect of nature. She trained formally before a stretch learning on the job with Jean Delobre of La Ferme des Sept Lunes, as well as the more under-the-radar, but highly influential Daniel Sage; two names one might associate with some of the most expressive wines of the Northern Rhône.

Since then Pauline has slowly increased her output each year, although in the grand scheme production is still resolutely micro. She has planted a small parcel of vines dotted with saplings directly behind her home as part of her own experimental agroforestry project, and she rents some additional surface nearby, which she farms organically with complementary biodynamic treatments. In the cellar the approach is strictly zero-zero; spontaneous fermentations, no filtration and nothing added to the wine at any stage. They are raised patiently until they are ready to be bottled - a bold choice when one has so little to work with, but one that speaks of her commitment to making wine this way.

We were struck by the purity and elegance of Paulette’s wines. They posses a quality one could associate with the Northern Rhône, with the sort of perfume to the reds that can only be achieved from the region’s hot days and cool nights. The decomposed granite soils here lend the mineral imprint and tension reminiscent of some of our favourite Beaujolais, but ultimately there is a plush concentration of fruit and soft-edged texture that make them distinctively her own. 

Until now Paulette has focussed on distributing the small amount of wine she has made directly to cavistes in France only, rather than exporting. So with that in mind, we feel very fortunate to be bringing these unique wines to the UK for the very first time.

Find out more about Petite Nature

More from Petite Nature

Petite Nature
Sorcières 2022

This is resolutely a red wine, despite 50% of the grapes being white, such is the influence of the Syrah. The Chardonnay and Viognier keep things delightfully silky and fluid, but the red grape provides a huge aromatic lift, that somehow seems to carry itself through into the palate, which is dense with dark blackcurrant fruits and juicy, saline black olive. Find out more.

  • Region Quintenas, Ardèche, France
  • Grapes Syrah, Viognier & Chardonnay
  • Vineyard Organic
  • Cellar Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
£41

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