Nicolas Joly is a French winegrower in the Loire wine region, and one of the pioneers and leading personalities of the biodynamic wine movement.
At the time he took over the family estate, Joly was sceptical about modern agriculture and the effect it had on nature. He encountered a book on biodynamic farming and took an active interest in the ideas found there, and from 1980 started to experiment with them in his wine estate. From 1981, the estate’s top wine Clos de la Coulée de Serrant has been made biodynamically, and from 1984 the estate’s entire range has been produced biodynamically.
Coulée de Serrant is among the very few single vineyards monopole to be granted its own AOC; others include Romanée-Conti, La Tâche and Château-Grillet.
Joly has later written extensively on biodynamic wine production, and has served as an inspiration to many other wine producers who have converted to biodynamic practices.
His biodynamic convictions also means that Joly disapproves of the label “winemaker” to the extent that his business card is reported to read “Nicolas Joly, Gérant de la Société, Nature assistant and not a winemaker”.
Intensely yellow in color, the 2014 Roche-aux-Moines Clos de la Bergerie has a deep and concentrated bouquet of ripe and stewed stone fruits along with herbal seeds. This wine needs a lot of time to open up and should be decanted for hours. Round, rich and elegant on the palate, with a racy acidity attack, great density and a lively mineral purity and backbone, this is a powerful, firmly structured Chenin; it has a good tannin grip and a long and intense finish. Still somewhat closed and bitter, but the concentration and rich fruit is obvious. Although I didn’t have the chance to follow this bottle over days, I am pretty sure it will become an even more exiting wine with (much) more aeration. [92+ Points, Stephan Reinhardt – October 2016, robertparker.com]