Certified Organic. From 18 acres of vines growing in a celebrated vineyard named the Fat Sheep.* This is in the adjacent commune of Saint Fiacre, which is the smallest of the 23 communes in the S�vre et Maine AC and one with some of the best grape growing land. The rocky gneiss soil here is thin, between 6-14 inches deep, in a seam of amphibolite, a greenish metamorphic rock. The vines were planted between 1930 and 1986, and average more than 50 years old. The meager soil and the old vines give naturally low yields, averaging 45 hl/ha. The wine rests on its lees in underground tanks for twelve to fourteen months. Ripe, round, concentrated and intensely mineral, this wine can age beautifully, developing aromas with bottle age that are a cross between Riesling and Pinot Blanc. A productive year sees 3,625 cases made. Note that Gras Moutons is authorized for Monni�res-Saint Fiacre cru production; it's up to the grower to decide if he wants to bottle within 14 months of sur lie aging, or pick a lower yield and wait a minimum of 24 months.
* Fat Sheep is the current literal translation, but it�s pretty far off base. Gras moutons comes from the old local dialect for gros moton or gros motton. Gros refers to something important, as in big or prominent. Moton is derived from mons in Latin, referring to mont (mount in English), the base for montagne or mountain. Motton comes from motte, referring to a natural levy or rise in the ground. Whether you go with moton or motton, it�s clear that Gras Moutons refers to a high point of ground in the area.