Verdier Logel, La Volcanique 2020 Côtes du Forez
Wonderful aromas of black raspberries, asphalt and chocolate with that familiar pepperiness on the finish that characterise the Gamays from the Auvergne & Forez.
Marcilly-le-Chatel, in the region called ‘Forez’ in the Auvergne
Auvergne is known for its mountain ranges and dormant volcanoes. Together the Monts Dore and the Chaîne des Puys include 80 volcanoes. The last confirmed eruption was around 4040 BC. The volcanoes began forming some 70,000 years ago, and most have eroded, leaving plugs of hardened magma that form rounded hilltops known as puys.
Jacky Logel was a joiner and carpenter, and Odile was a dietician, both were from Mulhouse in Alsace nothing could have foretold their transformation into vignerons, it all began when Odile’s father retired and Jacky and Odile decided to change their lives drastically, and go to live in the Cotes du Forez region, and take over the family estate which had been bought by her great-grandfather in 1890 (Odile’s parents’ home was in fact the building that was the local Cave Cooperative but they actually did not make wines themselves. Jacky studied viticulture and wine-making at a specialist school in Mâcon, their first vintage was in 1992. The estate comprises 17 hectares.
Gamay (Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc in full) is a grape variety that is most famous for producing the light, fruit-driven red wines of Beaujolais. While the variety offers fresh, red-fruit and candied aromas, it typically delivers little in the way of flavor concentration and body weight, giving light, simple wines. That said, some well-made examples can be deep and complex. The red wines of the Cotes du Forez are light in body, low in tannin and very much reliant on their fresh, vibrant fruit flavors. They bear all the hallmarks of classic Gamay vinified through carbonic maceration and are best consumed within a few years of vintage. The style is therefore very similar to that of Beaujolais, less than 50 miles (80km) to the northeast.
This area is subject to what is known in meteorological-speak as the Foehn effect, brought about by strong winds coming into contact with the imposing mass of the Monts du Forez, the winds forced trajectory up and around these mountains brings about a complex series of temperature changes leading to the drying up of the humidity contained in the air, so, as a result, the slopes of the Cotes du Forez have quite a low level of rainfall. ôtes du Forez is nowadays part of the administrative department of the Loire, and is officially geographically part of the region of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes. The village of Marcilly-Le-Chatel is located just beneath the ‘Monts du Forez’, which is part of the prehistorically volcanic mountain range ’Le Massif Central’. At one time this area was also known as the ‘Le Comté de Forez’ and even ‘Le Province de Forez’. It comprises a vast plain criss-crossed by rivers- notably by the Loire River and by its tributaries. Cotes du Forez was officially recognized as an AOC in 2000. The rules only permit the use of a particular type of Gamay grape for its red and rosé wines. The same vines are used to make this wine in every year, and they are planted in basalt or volcanic soil, so we call this wine “La Volcanique’”
These particular Gamay grapes used to produce the wine ’La Volcanique’ come from vines that are planted in basalt, at an altitude of plantation of between 400 metres above sea level and 600 metres above sea level, facing East and South-East. The vines are cut to the Cordon de Royat Double cut, apart from those in one young plot, where they are cut to the Baguettes’ cut (Guyot).
• Manual harvest mid-October 2016.
• 50% of the grapes were de-stemmed for fermentation.
• Fifteen days of wild yeast fermentation in 60HL cement vat.
• At a controlled temperature of 20°C.
• Ageing took place in these same cement vats and lasted for four months (from fermentation in the second
half of October to bottling in March).
• The malolactic fermentation took place.
• Filtration using Kieselghur.
• One racking was carried out once the malolactic fermentation had come to an end, and another for bottling.
• 15 mg of sulphur were added at bottling.
French charcuterie such as patés, terrines, rillettes and saucisson sec and with white-rinded cheeses such as Brie and Camembert
Try it with:
Diana Henry's Spelt recipe with blackberries, beets & walnuts