One of the most wonderful things about the the winemaking landscape of the Loire is the sheer humility of it all. Although the region is dotted with luxurious, ancient châteaux, the very best vignerons are humble vignerons that are willing to devote all they’ve got to making the best wine they can. Case in point is La Ferme du Plateau. A new estate run by natural wine prodigy Adrien Baloche, as his importer Zev Rovine notes, it’s not much of an ‘estate’ at all, which is, ‘basically a house with a yurt out back in which he lives with his wife and children.’ And yet his wines are wildly delicious–some of the best from the region we’ve come across.
Though Adrien makes a mean pét nat, it’s his Ôvin rouge that really threw us for a loop. A blend of Gamay and Grolleau, this thirst-quenching red is close to the platonic ideal of what a vin de soif should be. You probably know your way around Gamay by now if you shop at Dedalus, however Grolleau is a hard-to-find yet very rewarding variety that, like Romorantin, isn’t really grown in any real quantity these days. A light-skinned grape that ripens to very low levels of alcohol and high acidity, Grolleau is known to produce wines with snappy red fruits highlighting herbal tinges often manifesting as black pepper. Like most Gamay, Ôvin is best served slightly chilled and without just about anything.