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Clau de Nell
Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2018

The Wine Advocate
96 Points

The 2018 Anjou Violette is deep, rich and very intense but elegant on the pure and refined nose, with dark fruit, tea and kumquat aromas. Full-bodied, deep and generous on the palate, this is a full-bodied, rich and generous, silky-textured, refined and tensioned Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend that is one of the highlights of the vintage. Fabulous! A must buy!

Stephan Reinhardt, October 2021
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Clau de Nell
Chenin Blanc, Val de Loire IGP — 2018

The Wine Advocate
93+ Points

The 2018 Chenin Blanc, from sandstone-silex and clay-limestone soils, displays an intense straw-yellow color and opens with an intense and complex, lemony chalky aroma with yeasty notes and a kiss of oak. On the palate, this is a full-bodied, textural, very elegant and finely tensioned Burgundian Chenin with a finely creamy sur lie texture, very fine tannins and refreshing lemon aromas. , but it is textural, more haptic, gentle and very well elaborated. This is a great, lush and fruity but highly finessed Chenin, especially for this difficult year. Lovely lingering salinity and mineral grip.

Stephan Reinhardt, October 2021
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Clau de Nell
Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2018

The Wine Advocate
93+ Points

The 2018 Anjou Cabernet Franc is from sandstone and red silex soils and opens with a deep, intense and concentrated dark berry and cherry aroma intertwined with iodine and some plummy notes with crystalline sugar notes and baked blueberry aromas. Silky, rich and intense on the palate, this is an elegant, deep, refined, long and complex Cab Franc with a tight tannin structure, and kumquat and somewhat brutish aromas. The wine has great aging potential, but it's very individual, with dense fruit but ripe and elegant tannins.

Stephan Reinhardt, October 2021
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Clau de Nell
Grolleau, Vin de Pays du Val de Loire — 2018

The Wine Advocate
93 Points

The 2018 Val de Loire Grolleau opens with a light reduction on the nose that is clear, fresh and spicy, with fresh raspberry, blackberry and elegant flinty aromas. Silky, fresh and elegant on the palate, this is a fleshy, sweet, silky-textured but generous red with fine tannins and an elegant, crystalline and concentrated, tart finish. Needs some time, but this is excellent and generous.

Stephan Reinhardt, October 2021
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Clau de Nell
Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2018

Vinous
91 Points

The 2018 Anjou Cuvée Violette is full-bodied and rounded, offering a soft embrace. True to its name, it does smell of violets as well as wood smoke, spice and dark black fruits. There's concentration here, no doubt due to the low yields off 70-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines and the 45-year-old Cabernet Franc. The tannins have been well handled and provide a frame of chalky structure. The merest whiff of barnyard meets the florals on the finish, but it's kept in check.

Rebecca Gibb, October 2021
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Clau de Nell
Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2018

Vinous
90 Points

The 2018 Anjou Cabernet Franc is serious and structured, showing the ripeness of this vintage in its breadth, ripe fruit and slightly heady aromas. Produced from 45-year-old vines that yield 35–40hl/ha, this is soft and tender on entry, but the tannins build like a square frame, leaving a structured finish. Integrated use of oak is evidenced by a hint of vanilla from a small percentage of new barrels (less than 10% new). The finish is fragrant with lingering violets and savory notes.

Rebecca Gibb, October 2021
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Clau de Nell
Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2018

Vinous
90 Points

The 2018 Anjou Cabernet Franc is serious and structured, showing the ripeness of this vintage in its breadth, ripe fruit and slightly heady aromas. Produced from 45-year-old vines that yield 35–40hl/ha, this is soft and tender on entry, but the tannins build like a square frame, leaving a structured finish. Integrated use of oak is evidenced by a hint of vanilla from a small percentage of new barrels (less than 10% new). The finish is fragrant with lingering violets and savory notes; there is a question over the light barnyard element and the slightly drying finish...

Josh Raynolds, October 2021
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Clau de Nell
Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2018

Wine Spectator
92 Points

Svelte, moderate tannins envelope plum and cassis notes in this medium-bodied red, with details of loamy earth, savory spice, tobacco and forest floor. Complex and harmonious.

Gillian Sciaretta, October 2021
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Clau de Nell
Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2018

JancisRobinson.com
16.5 Points

Mid crimson. Notably spicy nose – riper than many an Anjou Rouge. Supple, with the undertow of ink and pencil shavings of pure Cabernet Franc but notably ripe. A luscious mouthful that is definitively varietal. Very satisfying.

Jancis Robinson, October 2020
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Clau de Nell
Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2018

JancisRobinson.com
17 Points

Very dark crimson. Sumptuous nose that's silky with a bit more substance underneath than the pure Cab Franc. Luscious and fresh but with pure, unadulterated fruit. Extremely seductive but with some freshness too. Lovely crunchy finish.

Jancis Robinson, October 2020
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Clau de Nell
Chenin Blanc, Val de Loire IGP — 2018

JancisRobinson.com
17 Points

Pale lemon yellow. Amazing life in the nose of this considering the youth of the vines. Excellent acidity and fine texture.

Jancis Robinson, October 2020
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Clau de Nell
Grolleau, Vin de Pays du Val de Loire — 2018

JancisRobinson.com
16.5 Points

Mid garnet colour. A certain wildness on the nose and then great gentleness of texture. Serious wine; possibly the most serious Grolleau I have ever tasted. Relatively low acid and low tannin – ready to gobble. Great seriousness of intent. Quite long.

Jancis Robinson, October 2020
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Clau de Nell
Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2017

Wine & Spirits
90 Points

This blend shows dark fruit—silky plum and blueberry jam—but the wine’s steely tannins support its ripeness, and the mineral edge keeps it in line.

Josh Greene, April 2021
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Clau de Nell
Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2017

Wine Enthusiast
93 Points

From the estate created by the late Anne-Claude Leflaive of Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy, this wine is beautifully structured, perfumed and ripe. Smoky tannins link with generous berry fruits to give a wine that is still aging and deserves more time. Drink from 2022.

Roger Voss, July 2020
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Clau de Nell
Chenin Blanc, Val de Loire IGP – 2017

Wine Enthusiast
93 Points

This biodynamic estate was started in 2008 by Anne-Claude Leflaive and continued by her husband, Christian Jacques. But its history is the soil they recognized as perfect for excellent Chenin Blanc. This wine captures intense fruit and lemon and almond flavors, with a touch of oxidation that opens everything up. Drink this still-young wine from 2022.

Roger Voss, July 2020
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Clau de Nell
Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC — 2017

Wine Enthusiast
94 Points

While this perfumed wine from the Anne-Claude Leflaive Loire estate still has a firm tannic structure, it revels in its rich black fruits. Cabernet Franc is prominent in the biodynamically grown blend, layering spiciness into the ripe tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon. Wait until at least 2022 to drink this wine.

Roger Voss, July 2020
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Clau de Nell
Grolleau, Vin de Pays du Val de Loire — 2017

Wine Enthusiast
91 Points

It is rare to find a red wine made from Grolleau, which is normally used for rosés. However, this rich, structured wine with funky aromas and dense tannins shows the grape's aptitude for red. From biodynamically grown grapes, the wine is worth aging more. Drink from 2022.

Roger Voss, July 2020
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Clau de Nell
Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2016

JancisRobinson.com
17 Points

Rubbery, reduced, powerfully fruity nose. Lots of aromatic volume here, giving menthol, nettle and black cherry. Soft structure, very expressive flavour.

Richard Hemming MW, January 2019
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Clau de Nell
Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2015

Wine & Spirits
92 Points

This shares the glorious ripeness of Clau de Nell’s 2015 Vin de Loire Grolleau (also recommended here). Its scents of black cherry and violet fill the mouth in a burst of freshness, clean and lasting. Tannins keep it earthbound, grounded in youthful black-pepper spice. Cellar it, and the tannins and fruit will merge into something beautiful.

April 2019
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Clau de Nell
Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2016

JancisRobinson.com
16 Points

Interesting cornichon topnote on sufficiently ripe fruit and just slightly dry sensation on the end. But no offputting mousiness. A proper lively, light red. This tastes healthy! (

Jancis Robinson, November 2016
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