Puits Compostelle Pinot Noir 2016
It has been almost three years since I first connected with Emmanuel Rouquette. I was pointed his way by another vigneron in this beautiful part of France called La Charité-sur-Loire. I can be pretty confident that no one really knows about this place. So when I explained what we do at Cru they told me straight away to go see Emmanuel. There was no one better in the area.
This is where the Loire meets Burgundy. The Cotes-de-la-Charité is one of tiniest appellations in France and only received its appellation status in 2009. Previously all the wines were simply Vin de Pays. But what I discovered in Emmanuel's cellar were finely tuned, multi-dimensional examples of fine wine--Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay, and this exceptional Pinot Noir.
This is Emmanuel's only Fut de Chene wine--raised in oak barrels. But don't expect something oaky here--they're all older barrels and don't give wines that reek of caramel and burnt toast. This is a very pretty, super quaffable Pinot that has complexity that sneaks up on the taster. An at once "simple" wine gains lots of stuffing in the glass over a 20 minute timeframe.
I'm becoming a real fan of this part of the Loire, an area technically influenced by the river of that name that runs through it, yet feels and looks just like Burgundy. There's a lot of granite and schiste here that give red wines much needed depth and complexity. In fact, there's some surprising soft tannin richness in this wine, and an almost 'dustiness' that really offers a lot of structure and length.
You'll be back for more, I bet. I know we will!