Les Capriades - La Bulle Rouge 2017
Organic, No sulfur added
From the importer-
Pascal Potaire – caviste at the dawn of his career – worked for others for much of his winemaking life: for Noëlla Morantin in the Touraine and for Nicolas Renard in Vouvray. He began his own label in the early 2000s, and was joined by his good friend and business partner Moses in 2011. Obsessed with balance, low alcohol, and high acidity, his mission became to bring the elegance and finesse of great Champagne to the world of naturally fermented sparkling wine. Happiest in the cellar, Pascal can be found daily monitoring his juice and maintaining his impeccable cellar, the quotidian tasks that make Les Capriades the pinnacle for méthode ancestrale sparkling wines. Moses, a logistician before he entered the wine world, handles marketing, and is in many ways the public face of this domaine.
Pascal and Moses are located within the Touraine appellation, in the town of Faverolles-sur-Cher. Designated “négociant vinificateur,” they buy the majority of their grapes, which they harvest themselves from a handful of local organic growers around Faverolles. The soils here feature silex and clay with limestone subsoil, which of course helps the wines attain their crunchy mineral backbone.
The process of making méthode ancestrale sparkling wine is both incredibly simple and incredibly difficult to execute well. First, there’s extensive sorting in the vines. Because the wines are made without sulfur, the grapes have to be perfect; flaws in the grapes will mean bigger flaws in the wine. The juice begins to ferment in tank, and at the opportune moment mid-fermentation, the wines are bottled to complete their fermentation under a crown cap, trapping carbonic gas and giving them their soft, frothy bubbles. It’s both an art and a science bottling at the right time to create wines of varying levels of sweetness, not to mention stability in a category noted for instability and bottle variation.
The wines are riddled before disgorgement using a giropallet, and are disgorged by hand, in some cases twice due to the large amount of deposit in the bottle. Les Capriades maintains unassailable status as the best Domaine at making this style of sensitive yet highly satisfying sparkling wine.