Clau de Nell

Loire, France

Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC – 2013

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Cultivation: Covering the vine stock with soil in autumn, plowing-down in spring, tilling and allowing natural grasses to grow; biodynamic practices include infusions and plant decoctions applied to the vineyards, depending upon the lunar calendar. DEMETER Certified 100% Biodynamic.
    • Size: 1 hectare (2.47 acres)
    • Vine Age: Cabernet Franc 40 years, Cabernet Sauvignon 60 years
    • Soil: Silty-clay terroir, consisting of sandstone grit and red flint on tuffeau (limestone)
    • Training: Gobelet system of spur pruning
  • Vintage Report

    • Although the beginning of the winter of 2013 was characterized by low temperatures, it was accompanied by unremitting rains. The beginning of spring was so cold that budbreak was delayed. Then two beautiful days at the end of April allowed the shoots to break through. The month of May was marked by relatively low temperatures for the season with little rainfall. The first two weeks of June were seasonably warm, which gave way to heavy rain storms. Flowering occurred at the end of June and progressed well, despite temperatures that were rather low for the season. From July to mid-September temperatures were not excessive for the summer months, but also there was less rain than usual. The vines grew very quickly, and the grapes set with equal speed. In mid-September a spell of rainy weather across the region allowed the grapes to develop and mature in a good state of health. Temperatures during both day and night remained sufficiently warm. Harvest was marked by good weather conditions with little rain and agreeable temperatures. There grapes were hand-picked in 12-kilogram (26-pound) boxes and sorted in the vineyard.

    • Yields: Cabernet Franc 25 hl/ha (1.85 tons/acre); Cabernet Sauvignon 18 hl/ha (1.33 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 15, 2015, a "flower" day
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 60% Cabernet Franc, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon

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Reviews

  • Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC – 2013 – 90 points, Year’s Best Loire Valley – Wine & Spirits

    "… this has a cool, foresty feel in the 2013 vintage. It ripened to figgy richness and plummy sweetness without losing its bright edge of acidity. Healthy and fresh, this should develop complexity as it ages."

  • Cuvée Violette, Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, Anjou AOC – 2013 – 4.5 stars – Opening a Bottle

    “A beautiful example of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon doing what they do best. The finish is drying but well rounded, with a trace of rosehips on the nose. Wonderfully low in alcohol, and a great wine for experimental pairings.”

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