We’ve visited Cheverny before in a previous note….you know that little appellation in between Tours and Orange in the Loire Valley?…..that’s the one….granted AOC status is 1993 the one we called the welcome mat for the much larger Touraine appellation.
This particular wine is 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Gamay and is made by a gentleman called Hervé Villemade who, after taking over the reigns from his father in 1995, farms the family estate of 17 ha (organic since 2000) near the village of Cellettes on the Western wing of the Sologne.
The vineyards lie on slight slopes over soils of clay, limestone, sand and flint (silex)…..the decision to convert to organics came after meeting Thierry Puzelat, tasting his wines along with the Morgons of Marcel Lapierre….Boing!…..Eureka moment and the conversions were started in ernest.
The wine…and indeed all of the Villemade wines are made very naturally….harvested by hand, half destemmed, half whole bunch, stomped by foot and fermented utilising indigenous yeasts in large Grenier wooden vats, bottled unfiltered with a very low sulphur regime….just a dab at bottling.
And it shows through in the glass….pure and direct with plenty of fresh aromas and flavours unencumbered by cellar trickery.
A lovely purple/grapey hue. There are aromas of wild cherry and plums with a slight bucolic edge to them….plenty of spice and earth with hints of minerals, beef jerky, sous bois, veal jus, jasmine and a waft of smoke and licorice.
A lovely sense of freshness on the palate with some wicked, musky, floral notes that didn’t rear their heads on the nose…..it’s initially got a little spritz from dissolved CO2 but that settles down quickly in the glass….again nice pure wild cherry and plum fruits with a touch of redcurrant lift. There are hints of violets, jasmine and sous bois, plenty of underlying spice and earth studded with meaty/gamey nuance. Built for food with a bright, energetic mouthfeel, quite light in body but not lacking punch and drive and a nicely shaped curtain of fine, ripe chalky tannins.
A keenly priced, flavoursome, naturally made wine that would be wicked with charcuterie, terrines and all manner of rustic fare.
Price: $22 – Closure: Cork – Alcohol: 12% – Source: Sample – Importer: Terroir Wines
Deceptively easy to drink….a bit like Hank punching back a bottle of lager.