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Zero Added Sulphite[ Vegan
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Les Cailloux du Paradis Romorantin Courtois 2013/2014

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One Line Description Les Cailloux du Paradis Romorantin Claude Courtois, biodynamic, floral, minerally, iconic producer
Production Method Natural, Organic, Biodynamic
Country France French
Region Loire, France
Producer Claude Courtois
Vintage 2014
Wine Type Dry White Wine
Wine Style Full bodied
Grape Blend 100% Romorantin
Alcohol 11.3% abv
Total Sulphur Level Below 50mg/l
Maturation 18 months in concrete and wood
Annual Production 0 - 5,000 bottles
Ageing Potential 10 years plus easy
Production Detail Biodynamic, no sulphur added
Natural Features Zero Added Sulphites (Sulphur), Vegan, Cloudy/Totally Unfiltered, Oxidative Notes, Funky Aromas


Les Cailloux du Paradis Romorantin Claude Courtois, biodynamic, floral, minerally, iconic producer. I discovered Romorantin in the cellar of Julien Courtois, son of Claude - an equally fantastic Biodynamic wine maker. In his cellar, an almost religious tasting experience of this grape variety had me immediately in love. Since then, I felt I had to taste his fathers too and they are also superb. The grape Romorantin was introduced to the Sologne by François 1st who planted it on his mother’s property situated in Romorantin which was, at that time the capital of Sologne, and from which town it derives its name. This wine undergoes an elevage of eighteen months. The nose is beautifully flowery with notes of Mediterranean flowers, laurel leaves, acacia and fresh almond, whilst the palate has tremendous tension and minerality. Superb white wine, makes your crispy Sancerre seem absolutely pedestrian.

Situated in the heart of Sologne, 35 km from Blois, Claude Courtois elaborates their wines according to ancestral methods and are zealous advocates of natural wine. 'Nature admits no lie', as Carlyle said, and Courtois (Claude) often says that his wine is made from 'true grapes', pointing out that the French vineyards are generally doped with chemicals in order to guarantee bigger yields. There is a price to pay for whereas a vigneron using chemicals can tend ten hectares by himself, in bio it takes three people.

Claude Courtois has created a small farm which exemplifies what biodynamics is all about in terms of biodiversity and self-sufficiency, although he does not consider himself to be a biodynamic grower. As we will hear Claude is not fond of being pigeon-holed or have his methods categorized. Recently, he has handed the reins to one of his sons, Etienne, and just kept a couple of hectares for himself. Together they farm a balanced & completely chemical-free 13 hectares of vines in the heart of the Sologne. Courtois also grows organic wheat, which he feeds to his cows who provide the manure for the vines. 'Nothing comes into my vineyard,' he says, meaning no chemicals ever. He has created a well-balanced, bio-diversity with trees, fruit trees, vines, woods & fields. No pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, or synthetic chemicals of any kind are allowed on the vines or in the soil of the vineyards. He has his own methods for promoting the diverse life of the soil. The grapes – Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Côt (Malbec), Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc & Pineau d’ Aunis and maybe up to a further forty varieties—are harvested by hand and only indigenous yeasts are used during fermentation. Claude regards the soil on his farm as a living organism. He lives in harmony with nature & the wines he crafts are a pure and vibrantly alive testament to outstanding biodynamic wine making. I mean wine making. The wines here aren't submitted to a rigid temperature control and there are fluctuations along the seasons, which doesn't seem to harm the wines, it could even make them more apt to stand their SO2-free life without accident. With Courtois you should not speak about the variety. It is always about the terroir of the cuvée. There are probably around twenty cuvées, made by design or caprice or the restless desire to experiment and push boundaries. Claude Courtois is considered to be one of the great pioneers of natural wine making in Loire (so that probably means in the world), yet the wines are not ostentatious. They have an easy honest drinkability to them, although complex and savoury, anyone can enjoy these bottles. And considering the reputation and quality, they are incredibly well priced.

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