Talking of natural wine, I'm in love with Racines Blanc 2011 from Claude Courtois


This is just lovely. It’s a natural wine (in that it is made with no additions at all in the winery, from organically grown grapes in a farm that’s practising a form of polyculture) from the Sologne region of the Loire, next to Cheverney.

You can read about Claude Courtois and his domaine Les Cailloux du Paradis on Bertrand Celce’s fabulous blog. I really like the way that Bertrand paints a picture of each of the growers he visits with his words and photographs.

What’s amazing is that this wine is now three years old, has had no added sulfur dioxide, and it’s as fresh, vital and mineral as a daisy (is a daisy vital and mineral? Maybe not. As fresh as a daisy, vital and mineral then). It defies scientific explanation, really. There’s lots we don’t understand about wine, but this wine is not oxidised.

I think it’s mainly based on Sauvignon Blanc, but that there are quite a few varieties included in the blend, some in very small amounts. Remarkable stuff, but probably not for the faint hearted because of the keen acidity and linear nature of the mineral flavours. It would be a spectacular restaurant wine.

Claude Courtois Les Cailloux du Paradis Racines Blanc NV Vin de France
This is from the 2011 vintage. 12% alcohol. Pale yellow colour. Lively, pure, linear nose of citrus and bright apple fruit with a hint of the seaside. The palate shows fresh citrus fruit and is firm and taut with some apple notes and an amazing transparency, revealing a core of minerals, fine herbs and sea salt. Really pure, salty and mineral, with keen acidity. But the amazing thing is the quality of the acidity: it’s rounded and pure without any sharpness, and integrates beautifully with the other flavours. Refreshing and drinkable, but also profound. 95/100

UK agent Les Caves de Pyrene.

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1 comment to Talking of natural wine, I’m in love with Racines Blanc 2011 from Claude Courtois

  • doug

    Love this wine too. The blend is a secret for political reasons but we’re pretty sure it has Menu Pineau, Romorantin, Chenin, Chardonnay and many many other “strangers.”

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