Chenin Blanc, Val de Loire IGP — 2018
- Cultivation: 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.
- Vine Age: 6 years
- Soil: Silty-clay terroir, consisting of sandstone grit and red flint on tuffeau (limestone)
The year began with a drier than average winter. Low temperatures in early spring pushed budbreak back to the second half of April. Record amounts of rain were seen in May and June, putting strong mildew pressure in the vineyard. The use of biodynamic preparations helped to keep the vineyards in good health. Summer was bright and warm and water reserves from spring assisted the fruit in developing evenly.
- Harvest Date(s): Chenin Blanc harvest began the morning of September 17.
- Yields: 26 hectoliters/hectare (≈2 tons/acre)
Whole cluster, slowly and gently pressed in a pneumatic press. Cold settling followed by long fermentation with native yeast in 5 year old oak barrels from Burgundy.
Pruning: Guyot Mixte pruning system
- Aging: Twelve months on fine lees in French oak, 5 vintage old casks. Aged in ancient troglodyte cellars cut into the limestone hillside on the property and then 6 months in stainless steel vat.
- Bottled: Bottled without filtration or fining on April 29, a “flower day”
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chenin Blanc
Clau de Nell Chenin Blanc, Val de Loire IGP — 2018 – The Wine Advocate – 94 Points
The 2018 Chenin Blanc, from sandstone-silex and clay-limestone soils, displays an intense straw-yellow color and opens with an intense and complex, lemony chalky aroma with yeasty notes and a kiss of oak. On the palate, this is a full-bodied, textural, very elegant and finely tensioned Burgundian Chenin with a finely creamy sur lie texture, very fine tannins and refreshing lemon aromas. , but it is textural, more haptic, gentle and very well elaborated. This is a great, lush and fruity but highly finessed Chenin, especially for this difficult year. Lovely lingering salinity and mineral grip.
Clau de Nell Chenin Blanc, Val de Loire IGP — 2018 – Jancis Robinson – 17 Points
Pale lemon yellow. Amazing life in the nose of this considering the youth of the vines. Excellent acidity and fine texture.