Clau de Nell

Loire, France

Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2018

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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: 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 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): Hand-picked in 12-kilogram (26-pound) boxes and sorted in the vineyard, Cabernet Franc harvested October 1-4; Cabernet Sauvignon harvested October 5
  • 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; 50% Burgundy casks, used five times before, in ancient troglodyte cellars cut into the limestone hillside on the property, and 50% in large foudre. Both followed by 4 months in stainless steel vats.
    • Bottled: Bottled without filtration or fining on April, 29, 2020, a “flower day”
  • Technical Information

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

    • Recent Video



  • Clau de Nell Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2018 – Vinous – 91 Points

    The 2018 Anjou Cuvée Violette is full-bodied and rounded, offering a soft embrace. True to its name, it does smell of violets as well as wood smoke, spice and dark black fruits. There's concentration here, no doubt due to the low yields off 70-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines and the 45-year-old Cabernet Franc. The tannins have been well handled and provide a frame of chalky structure. The merest whiff of barnyard meets the florals on the finish, but it's kept in check.

  • Clau de Nell Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2018 – The Wine Advocate – 96 Points

    The 2018 Anjou Violette is deep, rich and very intense but elegant on the pure and refined nose, with dark fruit, tea and kumquat aromas. Full-bodied, deep and generous on the palate, this is a full-bodied, rich and generous, silky-textured, refined and tensioned Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend that is one of the highlights of the vintage. Fabulous! A must buy!

  • Clau de Nell, Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2018 – Wine Spectator – 92 Points

    Svelte, moderate tannins envelope plum and cassis notes in this medium-bodied red, with details of loamy earth, savory spice, tobacco and forest floor. Complex and harmonious.

  • Clau de Nell Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2018 – Jancis Robinson – 17 Points

    Very dark crimson. Sumptuous nose that's silky with a bit more substance underneath than the pure Cab Franc. Luscious and fresh but with pure, unadulterated fruit. Extremely seductive but with some freshness too. Lovely crunchy finish.