Les Arches "Raisins Migrateurs"
95% Grenache/5% Carignan. Partly to face the challenges of multiple frost-afflicted vintages in the Coteaux du Loir, the Nicolas family has expanded their cellar and begun a new line of négoce wines under the "Les Arches de Bellivière" label in the 2016 vintage. The southern Rhône is certainly a departure from the Loire roots of Bellivière, but in fact Eric spent years there while training as an oenologist and had the good fortune to stumble on the opportunity to purchase beautiful fruit from biodynamically farmed, gobelet-trained, 45-year-old vines near Mont Ventoux (with whom the Nicolases have entered into a long-term commitment). The Nicolases decide when to harvest and do it themselves by hand in a day, loading the small bins into a refrigerated truck and hustling the fruit back to their Loire winery overnight--these raisins migrateurs or "migrant grapes" lend their status to the name of the wine. The bunches are destemmed, crushed and fermented with natural yeasts; the maceration is long and slow, as it typical of all Bellivière wines. The wine is aged in old oak barrels for a year before bottling without fining or filtration.