Guide to the Loire regions

Côte Roannaise

Grower Profiles

Bonichons vineyard

Domaine de la Perrière
Philippe Peulet is a first generation vigneron. The son of a stonemason, he was born in the département of L’Ain, to the east of Burgundy; a region known better as the origin of Poulet de Bresse than its vineyards. Now in his early 40s, Peulet has already enjoyed one career in the world of veterinary vaccines, but he now immersed in his passion for wine. In 2002 he spent one year at the same lycée viticole in Macon as did his predecessor and mentor, Alain Demon who he met, by chance, on a random visit to the Roannaise. His first ‘unofficial’ vintage was in 2003 and he worked in conjunction with Alain for the next two years before Demon retired. By this time he had moved to the Roannaise with wife, Marie-Hélène, and their four children.

He has basically taken on Demon’s 4.5 hectares of vines, half of which are over 50 years old and include some pieds of rogue Gamay Chaundenay. All are in Ambierle, but spread over nine parcels, including the distinguished lieu-dit of Bonichons. The oldest vines, planted in 1904 and gobelet trained, are situated on an east facing slope.

Back at the house, the cellar is made up of stainless steel tanks where he ferments his small production of maceration rosé (just 500 litres in 2008) and his lighter red cuvée called ‘Granit’ which comes from the Bonichons vineyard. To date he has managed his fermentations spontaneously, although the difficult conditions of the 2007 and 2008 vintages have opened his mind up to using cultured yeasts in future.

A second bottling, ‘Les Moines Noirs’ is barrel aged in 600 litre demi-muids with the press wine aged in five barrels bought from the brothers Foucault at Clos Rougeard. The first release of this was in 2005.

The enthusiastic and fast-talking (even in English, which he learnt whilst living for six months in Holland) Peulet is clearly passionate about wine, understands it well and is widely tasted. If anything, he’s trying a little too hard to impress and his wines are too overstated as they stand. The ‘Granit’ is the most interesting of the pair of reds, as the wood aged cuvée is too extracted and lacks a sense of place. Hopefully, the pendulum will swing the other way soon.

Philippe Peulet
La Perrière
T: + 33 4 77 65 65 49
P: + 33 6 86 56 52 35

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