Montlouis is located in Touraine - on the left bank of the Loire River opposite Vouvray - and until recently was considered not much more than Vouvray’s sidekick. But as land prices rose in Vouvray and all over the Loire, Montlouis exploded. Young vignerons like Lise & Bertrand have been coming over the last few decades, creating a noticeable shift and bringing this appellation into its own.
Both Lise & Betrand were born in the Loire Valley.
Lise on a dairy farm south of Nantes and Betrand in Chartes, the son of a butcher. As adulthood overtook them both, Lise became a server then sommelier in Paris and London. Betrand spent six years in the military then enrolled in a viticulture program located in Ampuis. He worked with Michel Auge then went to Switzerland and was working in Vouvray with Vigneau-Chevreau when the "opportunity" arose!
Knowing they wanted to work with Chenin Blanc but needing to make a living, Lise & Bertrand were considering a move to Montpellier when they found out about a small property that was for rent in Montlouis. Perhaps it was too early but how could they say no to this incredible opportunity. Plans changed and soon they were signing a lease.
The Jousset’s are firmly committed to organic/ biodynamic viticulture - their approach is simple "we want to make wines that express their character and their origins, in other words 'living wines.' For this we need living soils with great microbial activity and living vineyards with a balanced animal and vegetal life in our parcels. This firmly excludes herbicides that kill the soils, fertilizers that maintain the plant by "feeding-tube" deprived of its natural nourishment and pesticides and fungicides that pollute our environment". Because the land had been farmed conventionally, returning the land to it's natural state would require a lot of work but with vines between 30 and 130 years old (even some franc de pieds or pre-phylloxera vines), it was worth it!
It was a big risk and terrifying financially. And in true Lise & Bertrand style, they made it fun! Fast forward a decade or so: they own the land and are able to make beautiful wines of nature from their 11 hectares in and around Montlouis-sur-Loir. Working with Chenin Blanc in Montlouis, they also grow Gamay, Grolleau and Chardonnay on parcels in Touraine.
Although Bertrand is in charge of the vineyards and Lise takes over in the winery, they are true partners with the vines, the wines and their young daughter. Having taken such great pains to reinstate true microbial activity into the soil and to ensure there is a proper balance of plant and animal life in the vineyards, there is no "cooking" in the cellar! from the Jousset's - "We let our wines make themselves naturally without the use of oenologic products - sometimes a little sulfur and only what's necessary! Fermentations are with wild yeasts, of course - they are the soul of our wines as they transmit their origins, the terroir and the vintage. Our wines age slowly in barrels in a careful exchange with the air - we don't wish to "oak" our wines thus we mix the size and age of barrels in our different cuvées...in a mix of older 225, 400 and 600 liter barrels and bottled with little to no sulphur."
Since coming on the scene, Jousset has been hailed as one of the rising stars in the Loire Valley and the natural wine world. The wines are clean, unpretentious and speak eloquently of their terroir.
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detailed information about each wine