|Grape/Varietal : Cabernet Franc||Color : Red|
|Origin : France||Bottle Size : 75cl|
|Region : Loire, Anjou||ABV : 13%|
|Vintage : 2013||Natural Factor: Demeter|
The story of Clau de Nell is one of timing and serendipity. In 2006, Anne-Claude Leflaive – winemaker and owner of the famed Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy – had just established a marketing company to promote and communicate the benefits of biodynamic agriculture and viticulture. While touring biodynamically farmed vineyards in the Loire Valley, she discovered Domaine Clau de Nell. The owners of the estate, Claude and Nelly Pichard were young winemakers who had rapidly established themselves as the “rising stars” of the region. Unfortunately, financial circumstances prevented the couple from producing wines and in 2008, Anne-Claude and her husband Christian Jacques bought the centuries-old Domaine.
In 2009, estate manager Sylvain Potin was hired. He keeps yields at the Domaine low (less than 30 h/h). Harvest is done by hand. The fruit is destemmed prior to cuvaison, which lasts for 20-30 days. The goal is not extraction but proper flavor development – the caps are gently punched down and pump overs are kept to a minimum. The wines age for 18 months in five year old Burgundy oak casks in the estate's centuries old limestone cellar. The wines are bottled unfined, unfiltered on a fruit day, as defined by the biodynamic calendar. Domaine Clau de Nell is part of the prestigious Renaissance des Appellations association and is Demeter certified as 100% biodynamic.
The 2013 Clau de Nell Cabernet Franc is a sensational effort. This gorgeous Cabernet Franc was sourced from vines 35-40 years in age, situated on silty-clay terroir, consisting of sandstone grit and red flint on tuffeau. As it begins to unwind it releases striking aromas of black raspberries and wild forest berries which come together beautifully with dried violets, tobacco, smoldering ash and a touch of white pepper. On the palate this is medium to full-bodied and firmly structured with fine, silky tannins and remarkable overall balance and precision. It continues to impress all the way into the long finish which is laced with wild berries, dried floral and peppery spices.
Pairs Well With:
Herby lamb with roast aubergine & Puy lentils
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