Janvier "Rosier" Coteaux Loire Rouge 2016 comes from the relatively obscure Loire grape, Pineau d’Aunis. A grape that enchanted royalty on both sides of the Channel (especially Henry IV). This particular version isn’t available in large quantities but, in general, it seems to be popping up here and there.
The first sensation from this wine was of fruit: there is cranberry with something riper like pomegranate. As you taste that fruit vanishes into the aether and is replaced with a sharp acidity and surprising tannin on the finish for such a light wine. It is light and tart and while it is an easy drinker it isn’t something you will want to guzzle. It is a solid wine for red wine drinkers having dinner made up of lighter fare --salads and the like.
This wine is also quite defined. You get fruit, then acidity and then tannin. You may think, initially, “this is gonna be round (low acid)” at first but it is not. There is a refreshing simplicity to this wine even though it is something of a different creature when served warm or after it gets some air.
I served this cold to begin and it certain is a great summer red. Some will suggest it tastes like a light pinot noir (perhaps an Oregon one). This isn’t wrong but this grape is, as I always write, its OWN THING. It doesn’t have the minerality I get in many Oregon Pinots, for instance.
The grape is mostly found in Anjou and Saumur in the Loire and is often used in blends with grolleau and the more commonly found Loire grapes, Cabernet Franc, Cot (Malbec) and Gamay. Varietal wines like this one do not seem to be rare, considering the moderate rareness of the grape. It is only grown on about 1000 or so acres. The history of the grape goes back to the Middle Ages, as far back as the 13th Century.