Clau de Nell

Loire, France

Grolleau, Vin de Pays du Val de Loire — 2021

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  • Introduction

    • WINERY Clau de Nell is located in the Loire Valley wine region of Anjou and has been in existence for over 100 years. The vineyards were fully converted to biodynamic cultivation in 2000 and the property was purchased by Anne-Claude Leflaive and Christian Jacques in 2008, appointing Sylvain Potin as their biodynamic viticulturalist and winemaker. The property is comprised of 10 hectares (24.7 acres) of vines on a gently sloping hill surrounded by open countryside. The highest point of Clau de Nell offers a glimpse of the Loire in the distance; from here, an uninterrupted view unveils the sky and the river on the horizon, as well as rows of Grolleau, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc. A project built on immense passion, Christian Jacques famously quotes “We have not chosen Clau de Nell, so much as Clau de Nell has chosen us!”

      WINE 100% Grolleau (red grape variety indigenous to the Loire region). Planted 70-90 years ago in silty clay with grit and red flint of tufa, and fermented naturally in the Domaines historic cellars in Anjou.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Demeter certified 100% Biodynamic. Covering the vine stock with soil in autumn, plowing-down in spring, tilling and allowing natural grass to grow between the rows; biodynamic practices include infusions and plant decoctions applied to the vineyards according to the lunar calendar.

    • Appellation: IGP Val de Loire
    • Location: Loire Valley, Anjou
    • Cultivation: Organic - Ecocert Biodynamic - Demeter 2000
    • Vine Age: 70-90 years
    • Soil: Silty-clay, with grit and red flint on tufa
  • Vintage Report

    • The winter season had high rainfall and average temperatures. March was cold causing late bud break in April, with several frosts, especially from 5th to 12th. May’s low temperatures slowed vegetation growth leading to a phenological shift. Record-breaking rain occurred in May and June. Late flowering in mid-June was quick due to mild temperatures. The summer was cooler with normal rainfall. The late harvest had good conditions but low yields due to weather events, though grape health was satisfactory and juice quality good.

    • Yields: 30 hl/ha
  • Vinification

    • The grapes are handpicked from October 6-11, 2021 in 12kg crates and sorted in the vineyard. Upon arrival to the cellar they are destemmed and transferred to vats for a natural fermentation with a 20-day maceration (without extraction). Gentle cap punching and limited pumping over follow. A slow and gentle pressing in a pneumatic press after fermentation with 12 months aging on the fine lees in Burgundy casks used 5-7 times, followed by 6 months in stainless steel vats before bottling.

    • Aging: 12 months in Burgundy casks used 5-7 times
    • Bottled: May 10, 2023
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Grolleau
    • Alcohol: 12%
  • Tasting Notes

    • The wine has a ruby color with great brilliance. Notes of small red fruits, cherry, sweet spices and a slight peppery note. The palate is very supple; fresh and smooth with soft tannins and a mouth-watering finish.