The Marionnets have grown grapes in Soings since 1850, and their sense of place is palpable in their wines, and especially in their championship of ancient local heirloom varieties such as the little-grown Romorantin. Being fortunate to possess a few pre-phylloxera vines of the variety (venerable, gnarled plants of more than 150 years of age), they took cuttings and planted a new vineyard, rooted on their own stocks (most grapevines are on American rootstocks, which resist the phylloxera louse) from which they make this piece of living history. Once widely planted, Romorantin has become a grape grown by specialists such as Jean-Sébastien, though if enough people taste La Pucelle, its popularity it sure to grow. As befits a cousin of Chardonnay, in the Marionnet’s hands it yields a wine with weight, depth, and seriousness. Wonderfully textured as well, with a dry and minerally bottom, it is a lively pleasure in the mouth, spicy and with bright acidity. Full of yellow apple and Bartlett pear fruit, with warm baking spices and dried herbs filling out the palate, limeflower and sandstone minerality, it stays in motion constantly. A rare wine not only as to grape variety, it’s also a window into the wines before the phylloxera remade French wine.
Pairing: Enjoy it with smoked salmon and capers, goat cheese, or grilled brook trout.
REGION: Touraine, Loire Valley, FRANCE