Between the cities of Lyon and Geneva, in the west alpine region in France lies the small wine producing region of Bugey. This cool climate region has fast become known across the globe from producing sparkling rose wines with hints of residual sugar. So much so is the success of these wines that the still whites and reds of Bugey are often overlooked and less preffered by winemakers in the region.
This is not the case for young gun Louis Terral. Based in the town of Mérignat, right in the heart of Bugey-Cerdon (a highly regarded sparkling wine Cru) Louis is in fact the only producer in the village to make still red wine!
Considered the new blood of Bugey, Louis Terral already has a pretty incredible resume. He's trained under Julie Balagny, Michel Guignier, Jean-Louis Dutraive & Phillip Valette, some of the greatest natural winemakers on the planet. Add to that famous biodynamic Bugey sparkling producers Raphael Bartucci where Louis spent some time working whilst visiting his wifes home town.
It was his time with Raphael where Louis realised the true potential of the Gamay grape in Bugey and set about obtaining his first vineyards in 2016 whilst still helping fellow vignerons. Louis' vineyards are certified organic, and will be certified biodynamic next year.
All of Louis Terral's wines contain no chemical additions and are each named after historical French female figures.
The wines of Louis Terral are simpy some of the most energetic, elegant, and delicious takes on alpine Gamay we've ever seen. While not a lot of information is available on the wines of Louis Terral, they've certainly got a feeling like they're about to take the world by storm.
Louis Terral Vera Gamay 2018
$59.95 each or $53.96 in any 6
Named after Vera Rubin, the second female astronomer
Louis' Beaujolais training at work here with a semi carbonic, 15-20 day long maceration. This would be the most 'wild' of his 3 wines, a combination of 80yr old vines and 40yr old vines, both playing a key role.
Wild herbs, dried mushroom, dark plums, faint wood smoke, flint, burnt matchstick aromas, this is a wine that lures the drinker in. Changing across the course of an hour but never losing the power or structure.
Louis Terral Lucie Gamay 2017
$64.95 each or $58.46 in any 6
Named after Lucie Aubrac, a member of the French resistance.
Woah! Pure, ethereal Gamay with rustic red fruits, a balanced savoury edge, and distinct cool climate mountain-like feel. This wine is the iron fist in a velvet glove, with understated intensity. The carbonic notes are deliciously integrated hinting at raspberry jam, bright red cherry, and cracked white pepper, simply astounding.
Louis Terral Marianne Gamay 2018
$59.95 each or $53.96 in any 6
Named after Marianne, a female figure of the French republic.
Old vine Gamay at an altitude of 600m, this is the last plot that Louis picks, striving for an extra layert of ripeness. This wine sees carbonic maceration using only the CO2 from fermentation. There are no chemical additons in any of Louis' wines. The wine then goes to barrel for 6 months.
The prettiest of the 3 wines, rose petals, white strawberry, bright acidity, zippy minerality. The high altitude, alpine Gamay feel is present in all of the Terral wines, with a slately palate weight, incredibly moreish. Wow