The Nicolas family has expanded their cellar to accommodate some wines made from purchased fruit, under the Les Arches de Bellivière label. Though southern Rhône is certainly a departure from their Loire roots, in fact Eric Nicolas spent years there training as an oenologist and recently came upon a like-minded, meticulous, biodynamic grower in Ventoux.
From this farmer Bellivière now sources beautiful Grenache as part of a long-term contract; the Nicolases collaborate with him closely on harvest and have the fruit immediately refrigerator-trucked to their cellar for vinification. These raisins migrateurs or “migrant grapes” are destemmed and fermented in vat with natural yeasts. The wine is aged on its lees in used oak barrels for a year before bottling without fining or filtration. Importer’s Notes
“The Vin de France 2018 Grenaches Raisins Migrateurs is from 10- to 30-year-old Grenache vines in a friend’s biodynamic vineyards in the Ventoux. So, no Loire wine here. What you’ll immediately get when you put your nose over the glass is a warm and ripe cherry aroma with some plummy and potted red berry notes but also elegant and finely spicy aromas. Medium-bodied and fresh but intense and perfectly round, with a ripe and warm fruit texture, fine tannins and an elegant, refined acidity, this is a very pleasant red from the South with the spirit of the North. Very good length and stimulating. Tasted in May 2021.” 90/100
Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate – August 2021