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Clau de Nell Grolleau 2015 (1x 75cl)
Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 review of Festive Wines (see blue link below).
Clau de Nell Grolleau 2015 - January 2019 Decanter review
The vineyards at Clau de Nell have been cultivated biodynamically since 2000. A period of financial difficulty led the previous proprietors to seek help from the late Anne-Claude Leflaive and her husband, Christian Jacques. In 2008, the Leflaive-Jacques family purchased Clau de Nell, which at the time had not produced any wine for three years. Since then, Clau de Nell has enjoyed a successful revival with ex-sommelier Sylvain Potin making the wine and Christian running the domaine.
The domaine is situated in Anjou and is comprised of 8.5 hectares of red varieties planted on a south-facing knoll at 90 metres altitude. The vines range in age from 30 to 90 years old and are low yielding (on average 25 hl/ha). There are five hectares of Cabernet Franc, two hectares of the native Grolleau and one hectare of Cabernet Sauvignon. They planted 1.5 hectares of Chenin Blanc in 2012 and the first vintage, 2015, will be released later this year.
2015 was a good year in the Loire, with the same warm, dry summer that many other French regions enjoyed. In Anjou, summer was very dry and the weather during harvest was beautiful. As in Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, Anjou saw lower yields due to water deficits and poor flowering. The grapes harvested, however, were still of excellent quality.
All the grapes were hand harvested and 100% destemmed. Fermentation was carried out using indigenous yeasts in oak barrels with gentle punch downs. The wines were then aged for 18 months in old barrels purchased from Domaine Leflaive. The wines were bottled without fining or filtration on fruit days, according to the biodynamic calendar. Minimal sulphur dioxide was used because Sylvain says he likes his wine to taste clean and ‘like wine’.
The Grolleau is crisp and fragrant with blueberry and blackberry aromas. It has a bright acidity with a lingering attractive spice on the finish.
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