Domaine du Pavillon Cote Roannaise 2015
Unlike in Beaujolais, the wines undergo semi-carbonic maceration which means that the grapes are fermented in sealed tanks but with a small degree of oxygenation. The semi has the advantage of fruitiness and aromatic exuberance, but with more color and structure than pure carbonic maceration. The fermentation starts in a sealed tank and enjoys the effect of fermentation in a CO2 environment but then, at some point, air is introduced via the tap.
From the very upper reaches of the Loire River, come the delicious, yet mostly unknown, red wines of the Cote Roannaise. Once a major supplier of wine to Paris and the Royal Court, the wine-producing region has shrunk to a mere 250 acres producing 55,000 cases of wine a year. The Gamay grape flourishes on these steep, granite slopes. Many of the vineyards are terraced and the best sites have a southeastern exposure, with all harvesting done by hand. Beaujolais is just under 50 miles away, but a more different expression of the Gamay grape could not be found. Part of this difference is surely due to the fact that a different clone is used, the Gamay Romain, as well as the fact that the vinification is more traditional and less manipulated than at its famous neighbor.