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Petite Nature
Tombée du Ciel 2022

  • Region Quintenas, Ardèche, France
  • Grapes Gamay
  • Vineyard Organic & Biodynamic
  • Cellar Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
  • ABV 13.5%
  • Size 750ml

About the Wine

Paulette’s debut cuvée from her own small parcel of 50 year-old Gamay vines, planted over sandy decomposed granite and quartz at around 500 meters in the hills outside Annonay. This is in many ways her signature wine, and offers a beautiful expression of the extreme north of the Ardèche. A fitting reference to her time working with Daniel Sage, this wine is made in the infusion style, 50% of the grapes direct-pressed and the other half added to this juice in whole bunches to undergo a sort of underwater carbonic maceration over the course of 25 days. The wines is then pressed off into steel to rest for 9 months before being bottled with no additions.

At once light-footed, but with an unmistakable depth and concentration, for us this is Gamay at its best. The diurnal temperature fluctuations at this altitude really draw all the perfumed potential from the grape, and the soils keep the acidity tightly-wound. Beautifully supple and elegant in texture, the longer maceration brings a dark complexity that sits beneath the higher-register aromatics and salty minerals.

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

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