The Côtes du Forez appellation is a special place – forgotten or unknown by even the most knowledgeable wine scholars. Tucked between the Loire and Allier rivers in the center of France, some see it as the furthest southeastern reach of the Loire valley, others consider it part of the northwestern region of the Rhône-Alpes known as Auvergne, while yet some find the wines to reflect an identity of nearby Beaujolais. Ultimately, the Côtes du Forez hillsides are their own thing – foothills of the volcanic mountains of the Massif Central with soils of granite and volcanic composition, it presents a unique terroir unlike anywhere in France.
Domaine Verdier-Logel is a leading estate of the small and obscure appellation where vineyards are few and far between. Odile Verdier and her husband Jacky Logel arrived at the domaine in 1992 and immediately began vinifying their own fruit and bottling their own wines too. In 1997 they began to transition their vineyards to organic and gained an additional boost in 2000 when Cotes du Forez was given AOC status. More recently, their daughter Julie and nephew Maxime have taken charge of planting new, diverse varietals such as Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Côt (aka Malbec) that are bottled as Vins de France.
Type: RED WINE | Variety: GAMAY | Additional info: Organic, indigenous yeast, unfined
Gamay is the sole varietal allowed in the Côtes du Forez AOC. The difference here, though, is that it’s the local Gamay Saint Romain clone. With smaller berries than the clones grown in neighboring Beaujolais, the wines here are more colored and more peppery, thus creating wines that are a true reflection of place.
The “La Volcanique” is made from organic vines grown on ancient, basalt-rich volcanic soils. The hand-harvested grapes undergo a 15 day semi-carbonic maceration, followed by a three week whole cluster fermentation with indigenous yeast, that adds a rich earthy fragrance to the elegant fruitiness of the gamay grape. This is a fresh yet rich Gamay, with flavors of bold cherries, dark minerals, and great acidity.