Les Bêtes Curieuses, 2018 Update

After reviewing the latest releases from Jérémie Huchet it seems like an opportune moment to turn our attention to Les Bêtes Curieuses, a joint project he runs with Jérémie Mourat, who is based down in the Fiefs Vendéens. A chance encounter at the 2005 London International Wine Fair saw a firm friendship between these two develop, and from this friendship grew Les Bêtes Curieuses, a project within which the young (well, young compared to me) friends fashion a very serious but discrete portfolio of wines, all from within the Muscadet vineyard, and almost exclusively from the region’s various cru communal zones, either ratified (Clisson and Gorges) or proposed (Goulaine, Monnières-Saint-Fiacre and Château-Thébaud).

Les Bêtes Curieuses

The Les Bêtes Curieuses style is a distinctive one. These are on the whole not wines with the rather generous softness that some cru communal wines seem to display, all face cream and crushed white peach. Nor are they in the richer, more nutty category, those wines which have evolved seemingly oxidative notes (presumably after the wines have come off the lees) of praline, blanched almond and brioche. These are taut, tense, crystalline wines, quartzy and minerally, with structures and shapes that border on austere and angular at times, an attribute reinforced by the flavour profiles which on occasion feature a surprisingly youthful green apple, green pear and saline character. They are, I suspect, wines which would cellar well. As you would expect (because I am nothing if not inquisitive) I have put a few bottles away in the cellar to see for myself. The bottles reported on here, meanwhile, I tasted very recently with Jérémie Huchet (pictured above) and Jérémie Mourat wasn’t far away, naturally.

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