Clau de Nell

Loire, France

Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2012

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Cultivation: Covering the vine stock with soil in autumn, plowing-down in spring, tilling and allowing natural grass to grow between the rows; biodynamic practices include infusions and plant decoctions applied to the vineyards according to the lunar calendar. DEMETER Certified 100% Biodynamic.
    • Size: 5 hectares (12.35 acres)
    • Vine Age: 40 years
    • Soil: Silty-clay terroir, consisting of sandstone grit and red flint on tuffeau (limestone)
    • Training: Simple guyot system
  • Vintage Report

    • Winter was mild with little rainfall until the second half of December, when the temperatures became icy — as low as minus 10 C to minus 12 C (10 F to 14 F) — resulting in snowfall. March was also mild, peaking at 25 C (77 F), with little rainfall. April was a very rainy month, with a cold spell during the second half of the month, largely slowing down the growth of the vegetation. May was characterized by periods of alternating sunshine and high temperatures, followed by low temperatures and rainy spells. June was mild and cloudy with regular rainfall. Flowering was late and drawn-out. The first weeks of July were marked by little rain, low temperatures and cloudy weather. Heavy rainfall on July 13 and 14 was followed by a rise in temperatures. Rainfall on July 30 was replaced by a sunny and warm period until mid-September. The second part of September was marked by successive rainfall until the beginning of October. Benefiting from perfectly suitable weather conditions, the harvest kicked off on October 10. Despite the fairly difficult conditions brought about by almost daily rainfall, the Cabernet Franc was hand-picked October 17 to 23 in 12-kilogram (26-pound) crates with sorting at the vineyard parcel.

    • Yields: 28 hl/ha (2.1 tons/acre)
  • Vinification

    • Destemmed grapes were fermented using native yeasts; 20-day maceration without extraction; gentle cap punching; limited pump-overs; and infusion techniques at temperatures of 18 C to 25 C (64 F to 77 F). Slow and gentle pressing in a pneumatic press.

    • Barrel Aging: 18 months on fine lees in French oak casks used five times previously; in ancient troglodyte cellars cut into the limestone hillside on the property
    • Filtration: None
    • Fining: None
    • Bottled: April 10, 2014

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Reviews

  • Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2012 – 4 stars – Opening a Bottle

    "Recalls wet stones, musk, oak and black licorice before revealing a very even layer blueberries, cherries, violets and leather. The structure of the wine reminds me (oddly enough) of a Chianti Classico, with a similar drying, oaky finish."

  • Cabernet Franc, Anjou AOC – 2012 – 4.5 stars – Opening a Bottle

    “The magic trick it pulled — rare among red wines — was aromatic power, palate complexity and low alcohol (12%) all intertwined together. At first, it presented powerful aromas that reminded me of black licorice, musk and even pencil lead…”

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