La Reine de l'Arenite, meaning ‘Queen of the Arenite’ refers to the terroir of pinky, crumbly sandstone of the La Madone vineyards, rated as one of the best vineyards in Fleurie. At up to 450m altitude and with soils still untouched by phylloxera, goblet trained vines on the east and south east facing vineyards lie below the Chapel of the Madonna at the top of the hill. Gamay Noir vines range from 40 to 90 years of age. Grapes are hand-picked and whole-berry fermented for 8-10 days (traditional maceration carbonique) followed by a further 2 or 3 days on the skins to assist with aromas. No use of cultured yeasts. Pressed after an 8-10 day cuvaison. First press wine was returned to vat and left for 8 months before bottling.
Very pretty indeed, a heady perfume of freshly picked irises and peonies drifts above the crushed berry fruit nose. Ripe tannins and fresh acidity support a palate of Morello cherries, strawberries with wonderful savoury finish.
Freshly picked and fermented Frappato grapes are blended with ultra-ripe Nero d'Avola that have dried on the vine to provide a delightful "Appassimento" style red - rich, savoury and a real crowd-pleaser.
Deep ruby red. A rich, expressive bouquet with notes of red-berried fruit, blackberry and blackcurrant with highlights of oak. The palate is rounded, ample and flavourful, displaying remarkable freshness. The harmonious balance of the tannins, which imparts fine aromatic length with a predominantly fruity back-of-palate, is to be savoured. One of the great achievements of the 2017 vintage, a very fine wine that stands out by virtue of its freshness and vibrancy.
One of my favourite white discoveries of last year; crisp, fresh and elegant with classic varietal character and a mouthwatering finish. - Chris Connolly