'Les Coudraies' 2020 93WA
Domaine des Closiers
Saumur-Champigny, Loire Valley
100% Cabernet Franc
$44.99 when you mix 6
$47.99 reg US low on bottle 1
93 pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Vinified in stainless steel tanks and then aged in barrels, the 2020 Saumur Champigny Les Coudraies comes from the low-yielding limestone slopes of Parnay that were cropped at 40 hectoliters per hectare that year. Vinified in stainless steel tanks and then aged in barrels, the Coudraies offers a deep and concentrated, spicy and fruity bouquet of dark fruits such as sour cherries and blackcurrant along with mint and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, round and intense on the palate, this is a substantial, dense and generous but structured Cabernet with very intense and juicy fruit, good mineral freshness, spicy tannins and a long and intense, very promising finish that is still a little astringent. 14% stated alcohol. Natural cork. Tasted in March 2022.
Soils: A mix of limestone-rich clays.
Winemaking: Cabernet Franc grapes are allowed a cold maceration period before fermentations commence, and total macerations can exceed a month. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Extractions are very gentle, with no punchdown and only a short pumpover every 1-2 days. No products are used except a minimal level of SO2 prior to bottling. Wines are aged in tunnels dug into the limestone hillside by previous generations of vignerons. Aged in used barrels for an additional 8-12 months.
Robert Parker Wine Advocate: Domaine des Closiers, located in Parnay, in the heart of the Saumur Champigny appellation, is an ambitious new producer in Saumur. The new owner, the studied enologist, then computer engineer and co-founder of one of the biggest business consulting companies in the world, Anatole de la Brosse, returned to wine at almost 50 years old and has sold out his production quickly in France yet hasn’t opened up much export yet. He currently converts the former domaine, whose terroirs he believes "are great" to organic viticulture, with the assistance of technical consultant Michel Chevré. Also, Nady Foucault, former owner of the iconic Clos Rougeard, is consulting for him. The estate covers 15 hectares in the commune of Parnay, where they are located on the hillside. Rooting in clay-limestone soils, the vines average 35 years of age. About 95% of the vineyard is planted in Cabernet Franc in the Saumur Champigny AOC. The domaine also has a few plots of Chenin, which are used to produce the Saumur Blanc. Heavy investments have been made as well: the soil is now worked to avoid the use of chemicals; a new sorting table makes it possible to select the best fruits and to eliminate all the undesirable elements; a new destemmer scrapes the grapes without damaging them, which improves the quality of the maceration; a new 30-hectoliter pneumatic press gently presses the grapes; gravity is used instead of pumps; and the tanks are thermo-regulated for perfect control. No chemicals are added during the whole process except for small quantities of sulfur dioxide. The first three wines I tasted, two 2020s and one 2019, represent a promising start for this rejuvenated domaine with five generations of history.