DISSING THE DUTCH
Juilien Breaud vigneron/winemaker comes from an unknown village of Monnieres in the more famous appellation Muscadet Sevre Et Maine. He sells grapes by proxy because that’s what he was born into with his parents. Most important is that he wanted to produce wines with his street smart traits from vineyard to glass. At first, he began with a few plots owned by his parents in the Pay Nantes of this storied region of the Loire Valley. He then sought to own what is now 17 acres of pure Julien Braud. He makes wines from Melon De Bourgogne. For most wine producers, this grape can be boring. But by understanding the grape, winemakers can elevate it to star power.
The “Forty” was imported by Verity Wine Partners. It was founded in September 2009 with the mission of offering wines available worldwide. A Verity Wine Partner represents, mostly a family-owned mid-size producer, like Julien Braud. You’ll never find mass-produced “crack wines” in their portfolio! He uses horses in his vineyards to minimize soil compaction, hand harvests, uses only natural yeasts for fermentation after a gentle press, and ages the wines on their lees in glass-lined, underground cement vats. He clearly is invested in time-honored winemaking traditions.
WHO’S BEHIND THE STASH?
Looking at the back of the bottle is the same as discovering where your stash is originating from, it’s La Cave Du Paradis. Confusingly they are a company from Switzerland that is a simplified joint-stock company active for three years symbolizing artisanal wine producers worldwide. Now located in Monnieres where Julien Braud is based, it specializes in the retail sector of beverages in specialized stores everywhere!
It’s really fascinating there is a tremendous movement to find companies like La Cave Du Paradis that are vested with the same ideals as these artisan winemakers. It’s very difficult to import wine into countries these days. What is a modest winemaker to do to survive to continue their passion? The answer is to look for importers like Verity Wines that will get wines across oceans to exploit them. For your convenience, if you love Julien Braud wines, even Anvil Wine Company is importing his wines! They are a farm-to-table wholesale wine business currently operating in Colorado. Like, Verity Wines, they bring small production, artisan farmed wines from regions around the globe.
I have always felt it was important to point out where your wine is coming from and who is behind it. It gives you a purpose as to why you bought the wine and If you will continue to pursue more of them. However, I didn’t want the focus to be a pure label, but how special the grape behind the juice really is. I understand the packaging creates curiosity, but what’s inside, creates more curiosity on your nose and palate. Let’s take a closer look as to why Julien Braud chose this grape.
THE BLUNT DIFFERENCE
Unfortunately, big sister Chardonnay has been the superstar around the globe for centuries and still is today. To the point, she shines brilliantly like an AGS 0/00-1.00 diamond carat, in her spiritual home Burgundy. So much so, wines made from Chardonnay here can fetch prices equivalent to the flawless diamond cut. Outside of the home, more times than not, Chardonnay, shines more like cubic zirconium. The grape loses individuality and often ends up tasting like any white wine or simply tasteless.
The truth is Melon de Bourgogne is happy to lack the fame. Don’t allow anyone to tell you the grape is a sleeper. I have always lived my life by the philosophy: the quietest one in the room has the advantage. Chardonnay may outperform Melon de Bourgogne by volume and recognition, but MdB has secured her independence and advantage.
Synonymous to the Muscadet wine region of the westernmost Loire Valley, Melon de Bourgogne is better known as Muscadet, the name of the wine that it produces. However, it was isolated to the Pay Nantes from this area in the 16th century in favor of more prominent Chardonnay. The truth is MdB was already making a name for herself when Dutch distillers used the port at Nantes as an entry and exit point to ship goods back to Holland. They almost swaddled the grapes from Burgundy and adopted the vines to the area in the 17th century because they needed wine for their brandy!
The Pros why the Dutch set the stage for MdB and winemakers today, is the grapes are more neutral than Chardonnay; a winemaker can make ANYTHING out of It also has naturally higher acidity than Chardonnay, which acts as a preservative. The vines perform efficiently in the cool climate of Muscadet. she feels the need to overgrow in the vineyards. In fact, MdB were some of the only ones to survive an extremely harsh winter in 1709 when most other local red grape vines were destroyed. It was then that Melon de Bourgogne proved to be a sustainable grape for the region.
The Cons are that she is very fertile and feels the need to overgrow in the vineyards. The ability to populate turns out grapes that can struggle to develop complex flavors that Chardonnay can achieve. In the hands of the wrong Vigneron, they will take advantage of her profile, and tarnish her potential endurance. In slang, Melon de Bourgogne becomes a: “One Trick Pony” or “One Hit Wonder” to most tasters.
JULIEN BRAUD IS NO PIMP
In the glass, he rises Melon de Bourgogne with great integrity and without pretension. This wine is produced gently dry, crisp, with juicy citrus fruit, along with aromas and flavors of lemon/ lime, granny smith apples, golden pear, and an autograph finish of salty sea spray. However, this signature note is most notable in wines from the Loire Valley. It’s an honest wine that speaks volumes about its home in Muscadet. He made it in a fresh style, some may be aged sur lie, meaning on the lees, for extra body and yeasty bread for flavor complexity and creamy texture. Most wines made from Melon de Bourgogne, such as Muscadet, are meant to be drunk young, although in some cases, as in the sur lie-style wines, they can be aged for several years.
However this wine is best popped open ANYtime, ANYwhere, and in ANY mood. With Julien Braud, you’ll be directed to love the grape ANYway. He’s not Gangsta, but a true diamond in the ruff that made Melon de Bourgogne shine like him through his wines. Have you tasted wines made from Melon de Bourgogne?
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