We’re off to the Loire Valley with this week’s Wine Wednesday pick. Join me as we unpack what’s behind this beautiful bottle of Grolleau from Catherine & Pierre Breton. Here’s my full review of the Domaine Breton Grolleau from 2021.
What is Grolleau?
Grolleau (pronounced groh-low) is a red grape variety grown primarily in the Loire Valley in France. Typically, the grape is used to make rosé wine that’s low in alcohol and high in acidity. A classic use of Grolleau is in Rosé d’Anjou, a type of rosé from the Anjou region of the Loire Valley. However, the grape is equally as brilliant when used to make red wines from the region. Grolleau wines are usually crisp and aromatic with plenty of fruity and floral aromas.
About Domaine Breton
Catherine and Pierre Breton run the family-owned vineyard, Domaine Breton. Having been founded in 1886, in the Loire Valley, France, Domaine Breton specialises in organic, biodynamic and natural wines, made with care. They harvest their grapes between the Loire and Vienne rivers, taking pride in their terroir (all the different factors that go into the production of wine grapes e.g. climate, soil etc.), team and expertise.
Domaine Breton Grolleau (2021) review
Having never tried a Grolleau before, the thought of giving the Domaine Breton 2021 Grolleau a test was an exciting one indeed. This bottle is 100% Grolleau and made using completely natural production methods e.g. hand-picking grapes. The team also used a process called carbonic maceration to produce the wine, which essentially means whole clusters of grapes are sealed in a carbon dioxide-filled tank during the fermentation process. The result is a fresh, fruit-heavy and low-tannin wine (the more you know, ey?).
Facts aside…let’s get onto the tasting. Starting with its appearance, the 2021 Domaine Breton Grolleau is an enticing orangey-pink colour – reminding me of sunny days to come. As for the aromas, I was weirdly, and sort of pleasantly, surprised to find that the Grolleau smelled oddly similar to scrumpy cider. It most definitely wasn’t an expected scent to pick up on but, to be honest, I absolutely loved it. Following shortly after was the much more expected scent of ripe strawberries and cranberries.
On the palate, the Grolleau brought flavours of red fruits (strawberry, cranberry), as well as a minerality that almost tasted like what I imagine licking a pebble would be like. If you’ve tried that for yourself, do let me know what it’s like – I’m curious. It’s light in the mouth and, at only 11% ABV, is a highly-drinkable wine perfect for Spring/Summer picnics. The finish is medium, too, leaving you with the signature strawberry and, again, the wet stone flavours too. A must-try for anyone into their biodynamic bottles.