Clau de Nell

Loire, France

Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2019

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Soil: Silty-clay terroir, consisting of sandstone grit and red flint on tuff eau (limestone)

      Surface Area: Cabernet Franc 5 hectares (12.36 acres) and Cabernet Sauvignon 1 hectare (2.47 acres)

      Age of Vines: 35 – 45 years for Cabernet Franc; 60 years for Cabernet Sauvignon

      Pruning: Guyot Mixte system of spur pruning for the Cabernet Franc and Gobelet for the Cabernet Sauvignon.

      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.

  • Vintage Report

    • The 2018-2019 winter was rather light in rain quantity and mild. When it was followed by a hotter than usual Spring, the vineyard ended up waking up very early with budbreak happening end of March. A few cold episodes slowed down the progress of the vine and on April 4, the frost hit the vines and impacted mostly the early chenin and reducing the yield by half. The summer was particularly dry and hot and if it wasn’t for the clay in our soil, the vine could have suffered even more. A very bright and warm end of season in September and October allowed the vines to finish their ripening in ideal condition, bringing fruits with concentration and a great freshness

    • Harvest Date(s): Hand-picked in 12-kilogram (26-pound) boxes and sorted in the vineyard, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon harvested October 7-11
    • Yields: Cabernet Franc - 40 hl/ha (2.9 tons/acres); Cabernet Sauvignon 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; 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 6 months in stainless steel vats.
    • Bottled: Bottled without filtration or fining on April, 29, 2020, a “flower day”
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Tasting Notes

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  • Cuvée Violette, Anjou AOC — 2019 – Wine Spectator – 90 Points

    “A ripe version, with crunchy red currant and plum layered with dusty earth, savory black olive and forest floor. Reveals grippy tannins that hold sway, with a perfumed violet note on the finish.”