Gilles Bonnefoy Vin de Pays d’Urfe Roussanne de Madone sur Volcan 2008

Gilles Bonnefoy Vin de Pays d'Urfe Roussanne de Madone sur Volcan 2008

Gilles Bonnefoy Vin de Pays d’Urfe Roussanne de Madone sur Volcan 2008

Yesterday was an amazing day for me in the wine world. None other than THE Hugh Johnson came to our office to do a tasting with us. I’m so glad I wasn’t ill or on vacation, as the email came in just that morning. He and Jancis Robinson MW are in town to promote the latest edition of the amazing World Atlas of Wine. He was incredibly friendly and charming and we all enjoyed chatting with him and tasting some of our range with him for a while.

Hearing him talk about his passion for wine and writing about it also inspired me to get back to the blog without any further delay. Today’s wine is another I purchased in a marathon sale from Last Bottle Wines in July. I have never had a pure Roussanne on its own, let alone one made in the Loire, so this was a great opportunity to dive in and see how it fared on its own and from a region not known for it. Often just a white grape blended into more famous Rhône wines like Châteaneuf-du-Pape in the south and those of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and St. Joseph in the northern Rhône, it held up just fine without the help of all the other grapes. The grape gets its name from the gold color of the skin when ripe. The wine gets its name from the volcanic soil of its terroir and the statue of the Madonna that stands at the peak. Factor in the steep south-facing slopes of the ancient volcanic pic, and you have prime grape-growing conditions. And with that aspect, all grapes are hand-harvested. While it is a nice Rhône tribute, this wine is appelated as a Vin De Pays d’Urfé, located in the central Loire.

Lemon-gold in appearance, it had mineral, stone and tropical orange fruit notes. While it had pleasant crispness and acidity, it also had some creaminess and body, and a medium finish. There’s a little tannin so I’m guessing this and the fuller body and golden color meant it spent some time on the skins.  The winery is certified organic and biodynamic. They also make a lovely Gamay under this ‘Sur Volcan’ name, the 2010 which I enjoyed recently.

At $9 (at the special sale price) it was a steal as the average price online is $23.

Learn more at their website (fluency in French would help)

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