2019 Nicolas Joly Les Vieux Clos
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Wine Details on 2019 Nicolas Joly Les Vieux Clos
|Region||Loire: Loire Valley has it all. Whether you prefer some of the most famous grape varieties worldwide, or you like to be surprised with secretly brilliant wines, Loire Valley will make you return any time you have a chance. It's unquestionably one of the most diverse, and sometimes unjustly neglected, wine regions in France. Located on the banks of the Loire river, these vineyards are home to some of the most exquisite French wines. And not only does Loire Valley provide us with top-rated wines each year, but it also deserves applause for the number of bottles it produces. |
The most prominent grape varieties of Loire are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne. They are undoubtedly the crown jewels of this region, although reds, such as Cabernet Franc, Bourgueil, or Pinot Noir don't fall much behind.
With such exceptional grape varieties, it's impossible to think the Loire wouldn't treat us all with absolutely magnificent wines. It offers a wide palette of crisp and refreshing whites, as well as dry, elegant reds. To feel the magic and the impeccable quality of Loire wines, we recommend Domaine Didier Dagueneau, Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin, or Domaine Huet of Le Haut Lieu.
|Country||France: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.|
|Type of Wine||Loire (Other): In this underrated French wine region, you will certainly have a chance to taste popular Cabernet Franc blends, known for their emphasized fruity flavors. Other widely cultivated varieties are Gamay, Malbec and Pinot Noir. Some of the most exquisite white wines from Loire contain creamy and refreshing Chardonnay grapes, as well as Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne, and Sauvignon Blanc.|
|Varietal||Chenin Blanc: With exception to Riesling, no other wine grape can be so vastly exploited viticulturally as the Chenin Blanc grape. The amenable variety can be vinified in a range of styles from lusciously sweet to bone dry; it is susceptible to Botrytis, enabling the production of rich dessert-styled wines and its versatility surpasses even that of Riesling as it can be fashioned into light, honeyed sparkling wines. Though it is cultivated in over twenty countries around the world, the varietal thrives in its native Loire Valley, where a multitude of micro-climates allows the grape to reveal its many different expressions. |
Likely to have originated in the Anjou sub-region of Loire, Chenin Blanc has been cultivated in France for over 1300 years. It was first mentioned in official French documents in 845, but its existence is believed to be much older. It has played a major role in the shaping of the Loire winegrowing and making industry, where it has become the backbone of the sparkling, dry, off-dry and sweet wines from Bonnezeaux to Quarts de Chaume to Cremant de Loire to Vouvray and Savennieres.
The Loire and its many tributaries greatly impacts the climate and terroir of the region, creating a large range of micro-climates, all of which promote vine growth and contribute to the wide diversity of the regions wines. They also have a buffer effect, which is crucial notably for the production of rich, sweet wines. From the oceanic climate with mild winters, hot summers, plenty of sunshine and small variations in temperature in Anjou to the hilly sub-region of Samur, where the area is protected from winds blowing from the west, and where the weather variations are more pronounced; Loire’s micro-climates allow the many styles of Chenin Blanc to come to fruition.
The medium sized, yellow-green berries grow in compacted clusters, with vines that are vigorous in medium to fine textured soils. They are adaptable to various types of soils, but prevail in the native terroir of silex, schist, sand and clay, which dominates the natural landscape of the Loire Valley. In the vineyard, growers must keep Chenin Blanc’s naturally high yields in check, allowing flavors to concentrate and its floral bouquet to come through. The variety buds early and ripens late, making it a viticultural hazard as frost can be devastating in cooler regions.
Arguably the best expressions of Chenin Blanc from the Loire are the sweet botrytized wines from the Quarts de Chaume and Bonnezeaux sub-regions, where autumn mists in the Loire’s cool side valleys produce the required conditions for Botrytis Cinerea, otherwise known as noble rot. This unique and magical act of nature allows the grapes to attract a fungus (Botrytis Cinerea) which dehydrates the grapes, leaving them shriveled and raisin-like, resulting in extremely concentrated sugars and flavors. Botrytized Chenin wines are less weighty than their counterparts in Sauternes but are capable of aging as long as the Bordeaux sweet wines, sometimes longer. Good sweet Vouvray requires a decade to hit its peak but can be cellared for more than a century.
The Loire is in possession of 9,700 of the world’s 35,000 hectares under vine. New World offerings have become quite popular and are available from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile and South Africa. South Africa is, in fact, the largest cultivator of Chenin Blanc with over 17,500 hectares under vine. It has become the signature white grape of South Africa, where it is known locally as steen. It has traditionally been used as a blending grape, but in more recent years, vintners have been exploiting Chenin Blanc in single-varietal examples, which are more tropical in nature, with notes of pineapple and papaya, as opposed to the Loire wines which possesses strong floral aromas with flavors of apple and pear.
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