Three Bottles Le Nadir

We drink three wines from the first vintage of the Le Nadir winery from the Loire: the red PetNat Nuage, the Chenin Blanc Chebro and a bottle of Octobre, a cuvée of Grolleau and Cabernet Franc.

Actually, I wanted to focus a bit on PiWi starting this weekend. However, that will have to wait another week. The three wines today were bought quite spontainously. I had never heard of Le Nadir. What in view of the fact that this is the first vintage of this winery also isn’t particularly surprising. And I can already say in advance that the curiosity has once again paid off. Fabien Perréard, the winemaker behind the winery, is quite new to the wine business. After working as a graphic designer and a period of traveling around, he landed in the Loire region in 2018 and worked and learned at several winemakers around Saumur in 2018 and 2019. Then, with the 2020 vintage, he got his hands on a hectare of Chenin Blanc and, shortly after, another hectare of Chenin Blanc, Grolleau and Cabernet Franc in Brossay. Most of the work he does completely alone and by hand. The first hectare was already farmed organically, the second hectare is now in conversion. The grapes are fermented spontaneously and turned into wine with as little intervention as possible. Since there is no cellar of his own, he was able to accommodate his wines in the cellar of Côme Isambert. A theme that runs through all three wines is the low alcohol Fabien values.

We start with the 2020 Nuage, a red PetNat from Grolleau. We rarely have red bubbles in the glass. This one is completely fermented through as Brut Nature. And I think the color really makes a statement. The wine is tart and a little bit funky on the nose. But actually much less funky than I would have expected from Natural and PetNat. There’s a bit of red currant, a bit of tannin and a lot of juiciness and freshness. This is really fun and basically tumbles down the throat all by itself. Red and bubbles is a super combination in this case. Only the bottle size needs work. This actually belongs in a magnum.

We continue with the Chenin Blanc Chebro. There is a lot of spice in the glass and relatively little fruit. To the little citrus, however, comes a lot of stone. On the tongue, the acidity pops first, then comes spice and then acidity again. This is super juicy and pulls on the tongue in a way that makes you want to chew on it. And then, right at the end, it gets really salty. The nose changes with air, but always remains a bit sparse. As a first vintage, this is quite a statement.

A day later, I find it harder to attribute the scent. The spiciness seems different now and there is lots of yuzu on the nose. The wine is quite complex and still has that great saltiness and freshness. There’s also something slightly creamy and it’s also a little bit reminiscent of lemonade. I just hope now that the winery can maintain this level and that this wasn’t just a fluke with this first vintage. Because this is really good. And of course, this wine is also only 11% alcohol.

Finally, the red. Again 11%. The Octobre is a cuvée of half Cabernet Franc and half Grolleau. There you have red berries in the nose and also a bit of dirt. In the mouth, however, it starts off so juicy that you have to be careful not to empty the glass right away. There is a lot of length, a very fine spice and only minimal tannin, which glides very gently over the tongue. This is Saufwein to me and a summer wine as well. And a day later, it remains exactly the same. The nose becomes more floral, gets a distinct note of lilac, there’s a bit of stone and just this juiciness. Super nice.

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