We love it when we're presented with a wine that makes us do a double-take. In this case, it was a triple spin. All we heard was Pinot Noir from the Loire, and that sent us off. Not only had we have never tasted a Pinot Noir from the Loire, we had never even heard of one!
And there it was sitting in our glass. This bit of near insanity was created by Jean Mourat, who planted his vineyard in 1974. Because he thought that Pinot Noir would be perfect here, that's what he planted. And he was absolutely correct.
Unfortunately, the French wine laws don't agree, and they're very strict about it. If you are in the Loire and you want to plant Pinot Noir, you can only do it in Sancerre, 200 miles east. That's if you want to say it's from the Loire. That didn't bother Mourat at all. He simply had to accept the "lesser" designation on his label of "Vin de France." But, that doesn't lessen the wine in our eyes - or on our palates.
The westernmost part of the Loire is near Nantes, where the Loire River joins the Atlantic Ocean. This cool, maritime influence is just what the Pinot Noir grape ordered.
In 1998, Jean's son, Jeremie, joined the team and immediately began converting the vineyards to organic production. He even planted new vineyards, all of which are cultivated organically.
Pinot Noir is so susceptible to where it comes from, we had no idea what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised. It is still the sensuous treasure it's always been, just from a different place.