This light crisp dry white wine is made from a grape beginning with ‘J’ and for the sake of future quizzes during service; I will refer to this grape as the ‘J’ grape. Husband and wife team, Gilles and Anna Berlioz, take a hands on approach to producing exceptional small production wine. They have adopted biodynamic viticulture, so their land is manually ploughed, no chemicals are used in the vineyard and the wine is fermented using natural yeast which is then bottled according to the lunar cycle.
The Domaine was established in 1990 when Gilles converted from landscaper to viticulturist and inherited 0.8 hectares of vines, one constant remained and that was the sound understanding of the regions geology and topography. This firm understanding allowed him to find the perfect balance between grape and terroir. These ‘J’ grapes are planted on a steep wind swept hillside; the soil is clay with very high limestone content. This wine is made from grapes handpicked from an average of 80 year old vines.
This particular wine is a great expression of the terroir showing a distinct chalky minerality complimenting the Pacific oyster which has been coated in cuttlefish-ink bread crumbs. I find the flavour of Pacific oysters to be creamier, fruitier and sweeter than the Native species for example, which works harmoniously with the chalky minerality of the wine. The wines’ finish is clean and is not dissimilar to taking a bite into a crisp Granny Smith apple. The acidity cuts through the oyster sauce and enhances the cucumber tea which is infused into the oyster sauce.