Clau de Nell

Loire, France

Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2016

download facts sheet Download tasting notes where to buy
  • Vineyard Profile

    • Viticulture: Covering the vine stock with soil in autumn, plowing-down in spring, tilling and allowing natural grass to grow between the rows; biodynamic practices include infusions and plant decoctions applied to the vineyards according to the lunar calendar. DEMETER Certified 100% Biodynamic.
    • Size: 5 hectares (12.35 acres)
    • Vine Age: 40 years
    • Soil: Silty-clay terroir, consisting of sandstone grit and red flint on tuffeau (limestone)
    • Training: Guyot Mixte pruning system
  • Vintage Report

    • The climatic conditions were very beneficial for the vine, fostering the quality of the grapes. Rather mild temperatures at the start of winter ended with lots of rain towards the end of May. July and August were exceptionally dry this year compared to the last 20 years’ average, which helped accelerate the flowering process. The combination of light rain episodes and warm temperatures allowed the grapes to ripen nicely until harvest. The harvest took place in idyllic conditions without rain and during cool temperatures.

    • Harvest Date(s): Cabernet Franc harvested October 15-19, hand-picked in 12-kilogram (26-pound) boxes and sorted in the vineyard
    • Yields: 40 hectoliters/hectare (3.0 tons/acres)
  • Vinification

    • Destemmed grapes were fermented using native yeasts; average of 30 days maceration without extraction; gentle cap punching; limited pump-overs; and infusion techniques at temperatures of 18 C to 25 C (64 F to 77 F). Slow and gentle pressing in a pneumatic press.

    • Aging: 12 months on fine lees in French oak casks, used five times before, aged in ancient troglodyte cellars cut into the limestone hillside on the property, followed by six months in a stainless steel vat.
    • Bottled: Bottled without filtration or fining on April 15, 2018, a “fruit day”
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Franc
  • Tasting Notes

    • Recent Video



  • Clau de Nell Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2014 – Jancis Robinson – 16 Points

    Interesting cornichon topnote on sufficiently ripe fruit and just slightly dry sensation on the end. But no offputting mousiness. A proper lively, light red. This tastes healthy! (

  • Clau de Nell Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2016 – Jancis Robinson – 17 Points

    Rubbery, reduced, powerfully fruity nose. Lots of aromatic volume here, giving menthol, nettle and black cherry. Soft structure, very expressive flavour.

  • Clau de Nell Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2016 – Wine Enthusiast – 93 Points

    Two-thirds Cabernet Franc and one-third Cabernet Sauvignon have created a richly structured, deliciously perfumed wine. The tannins and ripe black fruits are just beginning to soften in this wine from the Lefaivre Loire estate's biodynamic grapes. Drink from 2021.

  • Clau de Nell Cabernet Franc Anjou AOC – 2016 – Wine Spectator – 90 Points

    A very charming version, with tobacco leaf and oregano notes framing the core of dark cherry and mulberry, while spice details glide along the edges. Well-integrated tannins provide support, creating good balance overall. Drink now through 2024.