"Les P`tits Velos En Roue Libre" (2020)
100% Chenin Blanc. This NV-labeled 2020 is the third vintage of sparkling estate Chenin from Bellivière. "P'tits Vélos" translates literally to "small bicycles" and is a euphemistic reference to the wheels turning in vigneron Eric Nicolas's mind. The cycling metaphor is extended further in the naming: either à pignon fixe or "fixed-gear" if it is méthode champenoise or en roue libre or "freewheeling" if it is a pétillant naturel made via the méthode ancienne. In either case, the wine is made from certified-biodynamic, hand-harvested Chenin Blanc grown on flinty clay-limestone soils across Belllivière's 50+ small parcels in Jasnières and the Coteaux du Loir. Vines are planted en gobelet (bush-trained) and range in age from 10 to 30 years. For the 2020, the bunches were gently direct-pressed and spontaneously fermented in oak barrels. The wine was bottled in late fall to finish fermentation; it was disgorged in November 2021 and ended up as demi-sec with about 20 grams residual sugar.