Domain de la Roche Bleue
Couteaux de Loir, France
History and Origins
Sébastien Cornille founded Domaine de la Roche Bleue in 2007. Originally from Sancerre, his travels brought him to Jasnières (30 miles north of Tours). A unique place Sébastien considered to be the quintessential, even mythical, terroir for Chenin. Any further North, and you’re in Cider territory. Over the years his infatuation led to buying further parcels in a region that only established itself from the ‘70’s and has been much overlooked. A soil rich with flint and based on limestone; and a latitudinal position on the cusp of ripeness.
Philosophy and Methods
Starting in 2010, Sébastien embarked upon organic viticulture and today he works organically employing some biodynamic methods. His focus is on making wines as transparently as possible with minimal intervention—thus spontaneous ferments, aging in neutral barrels, no induced cold stabilizations, no fining or filtration for the reds unless absolutely required and only very light filtrations for the whites. Finally, of course, minimal SO2 additions, done primarily at bottling.
Intention and Production
Today Sebastien farms 18.5 acres spread across 29 parcels. Of that acreage, 7 are in Jasnières, with 11.5 are in Côteaux du Loir (about 6 planted to reds and about 4 planted to Chenin). Producing a number of white wines that range in depth and complexity of expressions, often longer ageing in oak is required. Also moving into red wines of real finesse and character with his use of the Pinot d’Aunis and Gamay grapes. Finally finishing with a petillant naturel wine and a Rose in some years. Constantly pushing the envelope, highlighting the endless possibilities for Jasnieres and how the region, whilst small and underpopulated, has the potential to produce some of the finest expressions in the world these grapes are capable of. Only in the right hands of the most mindful, humble, passionate and dedicated individuals.