Julien Courtois - "Autochtone" Blanc 2017 (750ml)
Julien Courtois - "Autochtone" Blanc 2017 (750ml)

Julien Courtois - "Autochtone" Blanc 2017 (750ml)


A white wine from the Loire Valley, France made from Romorantin. The grape on this wine is Romorantin. Grapes are handpicked in small batches and fermented after pigeage with natural yeasts before being assembled into tonneaux to finish fermentation. Th

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There may not be a more peaceful spot in the Loire than in the heart of Sologne, among the rows of vines owned by Julien Courtois. Finely manicured and tended by Julien and his sweetheart Heidi, a New Zealand implant, their 4.5 hectare slope contains recovered vines as old as forty years old. Julien followed his father Claude (a pioneer in the region for natural wine) in reinvesting hard work to bring damaged soils back to natural harmony. Now, his Romorantin, Menu Pineau, Gascon, Côt, and various Gamay clones grow in absolute biodiversity and natural splendor. Animal life passes through without mention. There is plenty to feed and rest on with all the natural herbs and flowers planted among the vines. Note: this is not a land left to the birds. It is remarkably neat in its organic design. The soils here are incredibly organic as well, allowing the vines to dig deep into the silica and silex-dotted red clay. Julien has little to do but harvest beautifully ripened fruit and allow it to make itself into wines of elegance and concentration, except when chasing his daughter about the cellar. It is new, equipped with tonneaux of several ages. All fermentations happen naturally and only drops of SO2 are added early in the process, virtually disappearing before bottling. In winter, in order to control yield, vines are cut short. With spring comes pruning and upkeep of the vines. To guarantee a traditional, natural vinification, grapes are picked at the peak of ripeness, when the sugar level is high, and is vinified without chaptalization, acidification, and without concentration of the juice. This process results in honest wines.
Time seems to stand still here—all the better for wines. The family is part of this diversity, too, living in a small trailer behind the new winery. They seem to fit in without disturbance, not noticing the world zoom past them but acutely aware of the rhythms around them. It explains why Heidi came to work a harvest and never left. We hope Julien does the same and we can continue to taste a bit of nectar from this little slice of Eden en Loire.

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