Pineau d'Aunis, the Red Wine of Summer, from La Grange aux Belles
The 2019 Brise d’Aunis, made by Anjou domaine La Grange aux Belles, might be the most satisfying chillable red we’ve tried all summer. It’s a super-light, perky and juicy vin-de-soif made from Pineau d’Aunis, one of our favorite grape varieties.
The wine is vinified semi-carbonically, giving it a breezy, Beaujolais-like feel; you can easily drink it by the gulp. But it’s also distinctly different from Beaujolais – or anything outside of the Loire – because it brims with a melange of flavors and scents that could only come from Pineau d’Aunis: white pepper, watermelon rind, raspberries, dried herbs. Wild stuff!
La Grange aux Belles has been one of our favorite Loire estates for a few years now. They farm organically and follow a minimalist approach in the cellar, sometimes eschewing sulfur altogether. Like virtually everything made here, the vines for this wine are grown on black schist, which might be the key to its concentration and spiciness.
Not a lot of this wine gets made – just a few hundred cases, annually. After all, it’s a tiny domaine, and Pineau d’Aunis is one of the most rarely planted varieties in the world. What’s more, only a small fraction of the wine gets imported to the US. But we have enough – just enough – stock to offer here today. Let us know how much you’d like, and we’ll do our best to fulfill your requests.
La Granges Aux Belles, Brise d'Aunis, 2020