Producer Profile: Though this is only the second-ever vintage under her name that she’s produced, the road to being an expert winegrower has been a lifelong one for Marie Rocher. Perhaps the road began when in 1996, graduating from high school, she worked a harvest at Marcel & Marie Lapierre’s Beaujolais estate. This was her first real exposure to vin naturel though it may have been rightfully called vin non technologique back then, or to borrow a term from Moravian winemaker Milan Nestarec, what we like to call “Normal Wine.” In any case, it may have been the harvest that sparked this life dedicated in no small part to grapes and fermentation. Or perhaps it was a childhood fascination with breadmaking (something we can all get on board with following a year plus in quarantine watching loaves rise (or fail to) in the dim light of an oven’s heart) and fermentation, all things artisanally produced, that started her on the path to natural wine. More straightforwardly it was probably her father, a writer and publisher in the world of natural wine in the Loire Valley for many, many years. A path she would follow – after traveling the world, studying everything from agronomy to geography to environmentalism and even urban planning – was the path drawn by the pen. Filially immersed in this world of letters and grapevines, she became in the past decade or so one of the most prominent natural wine writers in all of France, in addition to editing and publishing collected lectures of prominent voices like that of early carbonic oenologist and proponent of vin naturel, Jules Chauvet. After some training at different esteemed estates throughout France (and inspired by her own love for the delicate, happy wines of Bugey in alpine, eastern France), Marie has set up shop in the Cher Valley, an offshoot of the Loire, and is producing some of the most promising and joyous wines from this undersung corner of the Valley.
Vinification: 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Grapes are hand-harvested, direct pressed and fermented with wild yeasts. Unfined, unfiltered, with no sulphur.
Tasting: Light bodied with floral and tropical aromatics. On the palate: orchard fruits and a honeyed quality mingle with a bright burst of acidity. This is a sharp, elegant Loire Sauv Blanc to take to the park and have alongside a sunset cheese plate before a meal.