Chateau de Chaintres Les Genets Saumur Blanc
Out of stock
Region: Saumur, Loire Valley, France
Viticulture: Organic and Biodynamic
Grape varieties: 100% Chenin Blanc
Chateau de Chaintres Les Genets Saumur Blanc is a bracing Chenin Blanc with bright mineral, orchard fruit, and zesty lemon notes.
Song: Zig Zag Wanderer by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
Out of stock
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ABOUT THE PRODUCER
About Chateau de Chaintres Les Genets Saumur Blanc
Chateau de Chaintres Les Genets Saumur Blanc is made from Chenin Blanc planted in an especially flint-heavy sector of the estate’s clos, “Les Genêts.” The wine spends a brief six months in stainless steel on its fine lees and is bottled “on the fruit” with minimal sulfur. It leads with a bracingly crystalline nose of blasted rock and finely articulated orchard fruits laced with lemon zest and offers a palate of nervy mineral grip and bright, clean, floral-tinged fruit.
About Chateau de Chaintres
Château de Chaintres is stunning: a mid-17th-century mansion that combines bucolic charm and gentle majesty in a manner quite particular to this part of the Loire. In 1675, the Oratorian monks of the Notre Dame des Ardilliers constructed a wall around fifteen hectares adjacent to the château, in the sunniest and most favorable terroir in the immediate area. This clos is situated on a subtle but notable slope and contains a variety of different soils within its confines, including tuffeau chalk, clay-limestone, and sand. The de Tigny family has owned the property since 1938, having revived viticulture in the clos upon acquiring the estate; in fact, a good number of the vines planted back then are still in production. Fortuitously, our paths crossed in 2017, when the family hired our friend Jean-Philippe Louis as their new cellar master. Rigorous, intelligent, and deeply committed, Jean-Philippe was the long-time right-hand man of none other than Philippe Gilbert in Menetou-Salon—a keystone of our Loire Valley portfolio for many years. In fact, it was Jean-Philippe who encouraged and facilitated Gilbert’s adoption of biodynamics, and he has already begun converting the vineyards of Château de Chaintres in that direction. He expressed unbridled enthusiasm about the possibilities inherent in terroir of Château de Chaintres from the get-go, and our two visits have only confirmed his assessment. Jean-Philippe’s precise, intuitive, non-interventionist hand in the cellar has already greatly improved the quality of wine here in just one and a half vintages (he oversaw the vinification and élévage of the 2017s but was not present during the growing season), and the future here looks very bright indeed.
Whereas grass was previously retained in the clos, Jean-Philippe works the soil in order to aerate it and to stimulate microbiological activity. Harvest is conducted entirely by hand—not necessarily the norm in the central Loire—and fermentations from 2018 on will proceed spontaneously. A variety of vessels are employed for the vinification and élévage, but the ultimate aim is to allow for the purest expression of terroir and to capture the fruit’s inherent mineral-driven vibrancy. Indeed, these are wines of energy and freshness, with even the longer-macerated, more structured cuvées showing remarkable drive. The property’s tuffeau makes for Chenin Blanc of vigorous acidity and penetrating precision, and the ever-transparent Cabernet Franc thrives in the heat-retaining sand that covers the limestone in many parts of the clos. Notably, Cabernet Franc from this appellation—a small and particularly gifted appellation within greater Saumur—can possess complexity and longevity that belie its fresh, finesse-driven demeanor.