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Magnum of Chinon 'Le Logis de la Bouchardière Les Clos', Domaine Serge et Bruno Sourdais 2015
Red Wine from France - Loire
Les Clos is an 80-year-old vineyard above this splendid Loire cellar, with clay and flint soils that are consistently ploughed, with good southern exposure. Bruno says this gives more 'cassis mur' aroma and flavour, with more minerality.
A sixth-generation family-owned estate at Cravant-les-Coteaux, run since 1992 by Bruno Sourdais. There are 55 ha under vine, split between 84 different parcels, with a further 45ha of cereals and meadowland. Bruno believes grassing between the rows makes the wines more 'solid' and uses this method according to the vineyard location and terroir.
In the cellar, small foudres are used for the cuvées, along with some barrels, and there are still some old fiberglass tanks as well as some traditional underground tanks. Two-hectare single vineyard Les Cornuelles is south-facing, on clay/limestone soils with large but lightweight stones, and grassed every other row (because it's harder to work than Les Clos which is all ploughed). Two old and two new foudres are used and blended according to the vintage, as the aim is not to have too much wood in evidence.
Two great vintages in a row and throughout the Loire Valley is an unexpected bonus and another year that’s good for reds is great news. The whites have the freshness of 2014 but are a little more sweeter-fruited and friendlier, with a little less acidity than the more classic 2014s. In Vouvray there hasn’t been a vintage since 1997 to have the level and quality of nobly-rotted grapes for making moelleux-style wines.
Muscadet, which is at last seeing the first signs of revival after many years in the doldrums with investment from both new, young and seasoned, well-established growers, fared well. 2015 is a little lower in acidity than 2014, though without the atypical richness of 2009 and 2010, and many will prefer it.
The lower acidity throughout the valley in 2015 has produced earlier-drinking, friendlier wines across all grape varieties, but early tastings suggested no loss of the Loire’s appetising food-friendliness.