Producer Profile: The Loire Valley, to this day, remains a hotbed of natural wine experimentation, providing a scene for both new vignernon(ne)s in addition to the more established purveyors of low intervention wines who pioneered the style in this region some twenty odd years ago. In this tradition, one of the most exciting young winemakers to emerge in the past few years has been Nicolas Arnou. After a career as an electronics engineer that landed him at the European Aerospace giant Airbus, Nicolas decided in 2016 to dive fully into the life of a winegrower after a decade and a half of considering the plunge. The seeds of a winemaker’s life were planted back in the mid aughts when he was first introduced to the style and point of view of natural wine(s) with Aymeric Hilaire & Melanie Hunin at their Domaine in Saumur. In 2016 he dove in headfirst and got among the best training one could imagine if they wished to make natural wine: a rigorous year apprenticing under famed Jura winemakers Manu Houillon & Pierre Overnoy. In 2018, he was able to purchase a small piece of land in the Loire Valley (Coteaux du Layon, not far from where his parents were once farmers!) with an attached, ramshackle but winsome gravity cellar where all the magic happens nowadays. Vintage to vintage the wines are improving exponentially – a very talented, rising winemaker who will no doubt become a highly sought after name on many a wine shelves for years to come.
Vinification & Tasting: 100% Grolleau. Grapes are hand-harvested from certified organic vines in the Anjou region of the Loire Valley, followed by a three week whole cluster fermentation in stainless steel using wild yeasts. The wine is bottled unfined, unfiltered with no SO2. Medium-bodied, slightly spritzy, plummy aromatics and deep red and black fruits on the palate.