Domaine des Gâtz 'Paillette' Red 2020
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Direct Press Selection • December 2022
Press 4 Red
This is a new project that again speaks to the relative access for the younger generation of winemakers in the Loire. In this case, Maxime Petit and Alexis Frenkel, childhood friends, were able to take over four hectares from Jacques Carroget of Domaine de la Paonnerie. Carroget was an early adopter of organic and Biodynamic practices and has since pushed for the Vin méthode Nature label, the first in France to denote natural winemaking.
For their part, Maxime and Alexis have managed to get the zero sulfur designation as well on their first wine, called 'Paillette.' It's made from 70 year-old Gamay vines planted on schist and has the nervier tension that is more typical of the Coteaux d'Ancenis, which is in the Loire Valley's most western reaches, closer to Nantes and the Atlantic Ocean. Sour cherry, black plum, and chewy, iron, tangy notes make this an exciting, energetic wine with snappy, bright attitude. It's made with a ten day semi-carbonic maceration using the millefeuille technique of layering de-stemmed grapes and whole clusters in the same vat. Only 150 cases made. Can't wait to see what's next from Maxime and Alexis. Jonathan Kemp