Sumptuous dark red fruits, lip-smacking acidity, an all-too-easy drinkability and a reasonable tariff - these are the hallmarks of the “bistro wine,” a category impossible to avoid in France, but far too uncommon here in the US. It’s a category that has had a long tradition at this store and one we love. The Loire produces some excellent examples and today’s offer - Les Equilibristes’ “Le Joufflu” - is one of the best we’ve tasted in a while. Intensely pure and rich fruit, a touch of pepper and floral notes, soft tannins, juicy acidity and long finish all make this wine, frankly irresistible.
2018 Equilibristes Joufflu VDF Grolleau/Pineau d'Aunis
My Note: Pure, unadulterated bordering on hedonistic fruit dominates this wine. Rich, perfectly ripened, peak sweetness that is irresistible - dark currant, raspberries and cherries. Complementing the fruit are floral and pepper undertones in a savory perfume. On the palate, the wine is plush and juicy, with a core of mouth-watering acidity that makes it easy to chug, frankly. This is FANTASTIC.
More about the Wine:
Francois de Monval and Florent Girou are the duo behind Les Equilibristes. The project aims to produce one of a kind, quirky cuvées from small estates all across France. Most importantly, their central ideal is to fashion wines that possess the équilibre (‘balance’).
Each year, they visit their grower friends and purchase a select amount of grapes from which they produce terroirs-driven, organic cuvees that express a clear identity and sense of place. The results are simply stunning, as Florent (the winemaker) uses little to no added sulphites and other minimal intervention techniques to allow the grapes to truly speak for themselves.
Take Le Jouffru - “The Chubby One” - for example. It’s a blend of Loire Valley unsung heroes Pineau d’Aunis and Grolleau. The former is notable for its lively acidity and peppery notes, while Grolleau produces fragrant, supple and fruity reds. However, both are normally used for Rosés and sparkling wines for mass production. In the hands of talented, conscientious growers, of the sort that de Monval and Griou work with, the results can be exceptional.
Such is the case here, where we get the best of both grapes - lively peppery spice, complemented by supple, sweet and rich fruit. And it’s only $16.
You will devour a case of this wine with weeknight chicken dinners. One case may not be enough!