The fashion for natural wine and orange wine continues to spread and more and more Quebec estates are tempted by the adventure.
This is the case of Domaine St-Jacques, which has been in operation since 2005. Located in the Richelieu Valley, in Saint-Jacques-le-Mineur, about twenty minutes from Montreal, the estate is best known for its cuvées, to say the least. conventional varieties made from native grape varieties (vidal, lucy kuhlmann, maréchal foch, etc.) and, more recently, from vinifera (chardonnay, pinot noir, gamay, riseling, etc.). The estate is offering two new cuvées this year: a natural wine and an orange wine. And the result is truly amazing!
Domaine St-Jacques, Cuvée naturelle 2021, IGP Québec $20.75 - Available online or at the estate – 12% - 1 g/L – Organic
Vidal, Seyval and Sauvignon Blanc are in unison in this white with a strong character. Natural yeasts. No added sulphite. All organic. With its cloudy color, we can clearly see that the wine has not been filtered. Nose first on the reserve (the wine is corked with a screw cap, which ensures quality and prevents unpleasant surprises linked to a defective cork), the flavors gain in definition with aeration. Touch of yeast that gives way to lemony notes, verbena, mint and honey. Quality material with a lively acidity, a fine bitterness and a very enviable fruity length. Balance and freshness which give the wine a high index of picolability. Everything is offered at a friendly price, unlike some areas that are “natural” and abuse a little too much for my taste. Cheer!
Domaine St-Jacques, Cuvée orange 2021, IGP Québec $26.75 - Available online or at the estate – 12% - 1 g/L – Organic
We find the same natural approach for orange wine (natural yeasts and no added sulphite). The latter being made from a blend of pinot gris, gewurztraminer and geisenheim, very aromatic grape varieties. Maceration on skins for 30 days, which explains the intense coppery pink color. Once again, the turbidity of the color tells us that the wine has not been filtered. Clearly more exuberant fragrances than white with tones of orange peel, rose, rhubarb and chai tea. Good fullness on the palate with fresh fruit and just enough quality bitters on the finish. Perhaps less easy to drink on its own than the white, it is nevertheless very pleasant.
★★★ $$ 1⁄2
★★★ Very good
More stars than dollars: well worth the price.
As many stars as dollars: worth its price.
Fewer stars than dollars: wine is expensive.