Originally hailing from Sancerre, Sebastien Cornille started his domaine in 2008 with a couple of remote vineyards in Jasnières (itself an outskirt and the northernmost limit of Chenin-growing), which by now he has grown into a 6,5 ha operation with holdings in Jasnières and Coteaux-du-Loir. These sloped vineyards – mostly on argilo-silex over limestone soils – are all worked manually and solely by Sebastien himself (certified organic, biodynamic in practice). Work in the cellar is carried out without additives except for minimal amounts of sulphur, with long natural fermentations and elevage (part tank/part old barrels) deep inside icy tuffeau caves.
Guinguette Domaine de la Roche Bleue 2018
Cornille’s least cerebral cuvée, but not simply vin de soif. Crunchy forest berries, black tea and a good dusting of white pepper on the nose. On the palate the 2018 is juicier than previous vintages, but retains a refreshingly green and mineral side that’s augmented by the slight spritz of trapped CO2. A very invigorating and decidedly ‘northern’ red wine.
70% Pineau d’Aunis, 20% Gamay and 10% Cabernet Franc from 30+ year old, biodynamically farmed vines in the Coteaux du Loire. Clay over limestone, yields 25 hl/ha. Manual harvest according to lunar calendar. 20-day semi-carbonic maceration in tank, parts destemmed and whole-cluster depending on the vintage. After pressing the Pineau d’aunts and Cab Franc are aged in old barrels and the Gamay in tank. Bottled without fining, partial filtration and a touch of added sulphites.
Served slightly chilled ‘La Guingette’ is delicious as an aperitif with rillettes and other simply charcuterie, or mild cow’s cheeses. Packs enough punch to accompany minimally spiced roast pork or lamb dishes.
Appellation: Coteaux du Loire
Winemaker: Sebastien Cornille
Grape: Pineau d’ Aunis, Cabernet Franc, Gamay
Serving temperature: 14-16°C
Drinking window: Now – 2 years