Clau de Nell

Loire, France

Grolleau, Vin de Pays du Val de Loire — 2018

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Pruning: Gobelet system of spur pruning

    • 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.
    • Size: 2 hectares (4.94 acres)
    • Vine Age: 60 to 90 years
    • Soil: Silty-clay terroir, consisting of sandstone grit and red flint on tuffeau (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): Grolleau was harvested on September 24 and 25 at optimal maturity; the grapes were handpicked in 12-kilogram boxes and sorted in the vineyard.
    • Yields: 30 hl/ha (2.14 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.

    • 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 January 27, 2020, a “flower day”
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Grolleau (red grape variety indigenous to the Loire region)
  • Tasting Notes

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  • Clau de Nell Grolleau, Vin de Pays du Val de Loire — 2018 – The Wine Advocate – 93 Points

    The 2018 Val de Loire Grolleau opens with a light reduction on the nose that is clear, fresh and spicy, with fresh raspberry, blackberry and elegant flinty aromas. Silky, fresh and elegant on the palate, this is a fleshy, sweet, silky-textured but generous red with fine tannins and an elegant, crystalline and concentrated, tart finish. Needs some time, but this is excellent and generous.

  • Clau de Nell Grolleau, Vin de Pays du Val de Loire — 2018 – Jancis Robinson – 16.5 Points

    Mid garnet colour. A certain wildness on the nose and then great gentleness of texture. Serious wine; possibly the most serious Grolleau I have ever tasted. Relatively low acid and low tannin – ready to gobble. Great seriousness of intent. Quite long.