Clau de Nell

Loire, France

Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC – 2014

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Cultivation: Covering the vine stock with soil in autumn, plowing-down in spring, tilling and allowing natural grasses to grow; biodynamic practices include infusions and plant decoctions applied to the vineyards, depending upon the lunar calendar. DEMETER Certified 100% Biodynamic.
    • Size: 1 hectare (2.47 acres)
    • Vine Age: Cabernet Franc 40 years, Cabernet Sauvignon 60 years
    • Soil: Silty-clay terroir, consisting of sandstone grit and red flint on tuffeau (limestone)
    • Training: Guyot Mixte system of spur pruning for the Cabernet Franc and Gobelet for the Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Vintage Report

    • Winter started with mild temperatures and low precipitation causing the blooming cycle to start early in the spring. March and April were unusually warm, leading to an early budbreak around April 10th. The growth slowed down in May as temperatures lowered and rainfall increased. June saw an increase in temperature and low amounts of rain. Blooming began around June 10th. Regular conditions in July and August created the perfect environment for the vine’s growth. The canopy and clusters developed well and rapidly under good conditions. The grapes reached great maturity thanks to a warm month of September. The harvest took place in idyllic condition without rain and pleasant temperatures.

    • Harvest Date(s): Cabernet Franc October 17-20; Cabernet Sauvignon October 21
    • Yields: Cabernet Franc 25 hl/ha (1.85 tons/acre); Cabernet Sauvignon 18 hl/ha (1.33 tons/acre)
  • Vinification

    • Destemmed grapes were fermented using native yeasts; 20-day 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.

    • Barrel Aging: 18 months on fine lees in French oak casks used five times previously; in ancient troglodyte cellars cut into the limestone hillside on the property
    • Filtration: None
    • Fining: None
    • Bottled: April 18, 2016, a "fruit day"
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 67% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon



  • Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC – 2014 – 90 points – Wine Spectator

    “Dark and grippy in feel, with smoldering tobacco and bay leaf notes along with worn leather and humus accents, all mixed with a core of dark cherry and black currant fruit. Fresh acidity drives the finish, providing lift and cut.”