Jean Maupertuis prunes, tills and cares for his tiny 3.5 hectare vineyards all by himself. His chai is the basement of his home in the village of Saint-Georges-sur-Allier in Auvergne. His approach to wine can be described traditional in the best sense. He grows healthy grapes as nature intended and ferments whole clusters using indigenous yeasts. He samples his wines along the way and when they tell him they are ready, he bottles by hand directly from the casks without fining or filtration. Yes, he bottles by hand. All his care shows in the wines. Harmony and purity are hallmarks of Jean Maupertuis wines.
Joyous pink bubbles made with gamay grapes. This sparkler is made using the ancestral method, where the wines are bottled and capped before fermentation is complete. The fermentation continues in bottles, causing the naturally occuring bubbles to be trapped. The bottles are hand-riddled, just as in Champagne. The lees are disgorged and topped-up with the same wine. The wine is slightly off-dry.
Made from the 80 to 100 year old vines grown on volcanic soil on a high altutude slope. There is something about the wines made from vines grown on mountains. The wines hit every taste bud with absolute clarity. 'Les Pierre Noires', meaning black stones, refers to the black volanic soil found in the vineyard. The wine is made from the indigenious varietal d'Auvergne Gamay, which is different than the Gamay found in Beaujolais and Loire. This wine has unique barnyardy, floral nose with a texture of a Burgundy.
Neyrou is 100% Pinot Noir. Merely a few meters from La Plage (see below) is Neyrou vineyard, where the composition of soil changes drastically from sand to clay. Auvergne landscape is bipolar, interposing hills of extinct volcanoes and risen ancient sea-bed of limestone. The vines are trained en lyre – double trellis with empty space in the middle, which looks like an ancient harp known as en lyre. It is a traditional trellising that concentrates grapes but requires additional hands-on work. Mechanical work is impossible with en lyre. This is the only en lyre that I have seen in France.
La Plage is 100% d'Auvergne Gamay. This is a new cuvée from the Madargues Cru in Riom. La Plage, meaning "the beach", is completely sandy on top with limestone underneath. You can see the sand on the photo above. The vines are also trained en lyre.
(The labels are not current vintages and are shown for illustration purposes only)