Pop into any trainspotter wine-bar in France, or for that matter worldwide, and it is quite likely that when you scour the carte du vins you will come across some wines produced by the brothers Puzelat.
The wines of Thierry and Jean-Marie Puzelat hail from the Loire Valley in France…within the Touraine & Cheverny appellations to be exact. The Cheverny AOC lies in the Upper Loire in between Tours & Orleans and was awarded AC classification in 1993. I guess you coould say that Cheverny is the welcome mat for the much larger Touraine appellation….Cheverny currently has a little over 500ha under vine with reds, whites and roses being produced.
The red wine varieties are Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc & Malbec. The roses make use of Gamay (minimum of 50%), Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Pineau d´Aunis and Pinot Gris. And finally…for the whites Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Arbois.
The Puzelats 10ha family estate is located at Les Montils, one of the 24 communes in the Cheveny AOC. It’s a mashup vineyard of some fairly esoteric varieties with Menu Pineau & Pineau d’Aunis co-habitating with the more common Cot (Malbec), Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot Noir. Organically farmed and naturally made the Clos du Tue-Boeuf wines are quite cerebral little numbers that provide interesting and sometimes challenging drinking experiences.
For a start, the lack of sulphur in the winemaking process can make the wines quite fragile, although you can be assured that great care is taken with the shipping of the wines to Australia. They can be nervy, wiry and bucolic but they provide a fascinating drinking experience if you are in the right frame of mind.
The 2009 Clos du Tue-Boeuf Cheverny Rouillon is a blend of Pinot Noir & Gamay with a purple, intensly grapey hue….slightly turbid in the glass unadulterated by fining or filtration. The aromas are of cherry, blackberry and plum with a blast of high-toned cranberry. A rustic & vinous fruit compote with spice, wet stone, earth, grilled meats and tarragon.
Good vitality on the palate…medium-bodied with sinewy, textured cherry and black fruits…it sings in earthen tones with dashes of spice, licorice, grilled meats & pepper. Oak doesn’t really play a part in this wine…it’s there but just a memory in the liquid itself, sitting well back, quietly in the wines profile. The acidity is fresh and bright, the tannin, chewy, ripe and chalky. The finish isn’t particulary long but that does not detract from a wine which is very enjoyable drinking.
Price: Should come in around the $30-35 mark