Clau de Nell

Loire, France

Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2020

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • 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.

    • Composition: 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: Loamy-clay terroir, consisting of sandstone grit and red flint on tuffeau (limestone)
  • Vintage Report

    • Winter 2019-2020 was mild with average rainfall and temperatures. Budburst occurred in April; and temperatures stayed above 0°C and the vines were undamaged. May 25th saw flowering in excellent condition. Summer was very hot and dry, yet the clay and limestone soil helped the vines stay healthy. Fall was ideal with light and warm temperatures. Harvest began on September 11th with Chenin Blanc and continued through September with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc being picked at peak maturity from September 28th through October 3rd. Finally, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested at peak maturity between September 28th and October 3rd.

    • Harvest Date(s): Hand-picked in 12-kilogram (26-pound) boxes and sorted in the vineyard, Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon harvest from September 28 - October 3
    • 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; 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.

    • Aging: 12 months on fine lees; in 50% Burgundy casks, used 3-5 times before, in ancient troglodyte cellars cut into the limestone hillside on the property, followed by 6 months in stainless steel vats.
    • Bottled: Bottled without filtration or fining on May 11, 2022, a “fruit day”
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 65% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Alcohol: 13%



  • Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2020 – Wine Enthusiast – 90 Points

    “Forest floor, dried porcini mushroom and red plum emerge on the palate and dominate the length of the taste. The wine is reserved, yet comfortable being in sync with its earthiness. Pair with vegetables, white meat dishes and any mushroom-based sauces.”

  • Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2020 – Wine Spectator – 90 Points

    “A tangy, harmonious red, with dusty earth and potpourri merging with bitter cherry and dried currant. Features a refined profile, thanks to the tangy acidity and silky tannins, with gamy underpinnings and an iodine note. Shows good texture and poise.”