Clau de Nell

Loire, France

Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2017

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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, following the rhythms of the biodynamic calendar. DEMETER Certified 100% Biodynamic.
    • Viticulture: Pruning: Guyot Mixte system of spur pruning for the Cabernet Franc and Gobelet for the Cabernet Sauvignon.
    • Size: Cabernet Franc 5 hectares (12.36 acres) and Cabernet Sauvignon 1 hectare (2.47 acres)
    • Vine Age: 35 – 45 years for Cabernet Franc; 60 years for Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Soil: Silty-clay terroir, consisting of sandstone grit and red flint on tuff eau (limestone)
  • Vintage Report

    • The dry and mild winter of 2017 led to early budbreak. Two days of frost in April impacted yields. Spring came quickly providing for an early growing season. The hot summer allowed for ideal fruit maturation and the mild start of fall allowed for opulent acidity to be retained until harvest.

    • Harvest Date(s): Hand-picked in 12-kilogram (26-pound) boxes and sorted in the vineyard Cabernet Franc harvested October 1-5 ; yields were 35 hl/ha (2.5 tons/acres). Cabernet Sauvignon harvested October 5; yields were 20 hl/ha (1.4 tons/acres)
  • Vinification

    • Destemmed grapes were fermented using native yeasts; 30-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.

    • Aging: 12 months on fine lees in French oak (five-vintage old casks), 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, 30, 2019, a “flower day”
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 75% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Tasting Notes

    • Recent Video



  • Clau de Nell Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2017 – Wine & Spirits – 90 Points

    This blend shows dark fruit—silky plum and blueberry jam—but the wine’s steely tannins support its ripeness, and the mineral edge keeps it in line.

  • Clau de Nell Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2017 – Wine Enthusiast – 94 Points

    While this perfumed wine from the Anne-Claude Leflaive Loire estate still has a firm tannic structure, it revels in its rich black fruits. Cabernet Franc is prominent in the biodynamically grown blend, layering spiciness into the ripe tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon. Wait until at least 2022 to drink this wine.