Nicolas Joly, 2022 Update

Nicolas Joly is an Anjou touchstone, a vigneron with who I try to taste every year. While the wine is here can only be described, at the very least, as ‘individual’, and perhaps more accurately as ‘idiosyncratic’, Nicolas Joly has such a significant presence in the Loire Valley, both in terms of the vineyards he owns in the Savennières and Coulée de Serrant appellations, and in terms of his significance to the organic and biodynamic movements in the region, that I think I consider it my duty to check in on his wines.

Of course these days it is rarely Nicolas I taste with, as he has gradually handed over responsibility for the family vineyards and wines to the next generation. Most visible in this regard is his daughter, Virginie Joly.

Nicolas Joly and the Clos de la Coulée de Serrant

When it became apparent Virginie was taking on more work in the vineyards and cellars, many people – myself included – looked for a change in style chez Joly. I think any change that has come over the past five-to-ten years has been minimal at best, the only apparent point of contention between the two generations of which I am aware being the percentage of botrytised fruit which goes into the press; Virginie likes to keep it low, maybe 5%, but Nicolas uses what the vineyard gives him. That might mean 10% or even 15% botrytised fruit in the blend.

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