Nicolas Grosbois grew up in a Chinon winemaking family that dates back to 1820, but needed to set out on his own to find his niche in the winemaking world. He traveled and worked with winemakers and terroirs as diverse as can be—from Minervois, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, to Oregon. When he came back to the Loire to take over the family domaine in 2005, he had big ideas about revolutionizing their practices. His philosophy centered around the idea of micro-site specificity. He wanted his Cabernet Franc bottlings to reflect the 13 unique plots of vines on the Panzoult Hill, all of which had been strategically planted according to their geological characteristics. His theory was that his different soils, comprising mostly limestone and clay, would play out in different personalities for the wines.
Once in the cellar, he lets the grapes speak for themselves, keeping a light hand at winemaking. He ferments in open concrete tanks with indigenous yeast, uses no oak and minimal filtration, so what you find in the final wine is a pure expression of a teeny parcel of Chinon. These are true bistro wines: food friendly and easy to drink with a succulent complexity. Not a lot of pretension, not a lot of cosmetic surgery—just fresh fruit and a whole lot of personality. Nicolas Grosbois may be spending a lot of time thinking about soils, but you’ll just be thinking about getting another glass.
The domaine is currently in conversion to biodynamic farming.
Richard Kelly Guide to Loire - Grower Profile: Nicolas Grosbois