Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Cabernet Franc 2007
from Loire, France
The vineyards of Clos Roche Blanche were planted at the end of the 19th century and have remained in the Roussel family since. Catherine Roussel took over this 28-hectare estate in 1975 from her father, and was later joined by Didier Barrouillet, who tends the vineyards and makes the wine.
Their soil is poor, mainly clay with flint over a limestone subsoil. The wines produced include a Cabernet (mostly Franc with varied amounts of Sauvignon depending on the vintage), Gamay, Côt (aka Malbec), and Sauvignon Blanc. Roussel and Barrouillet keep yields low by maintaining old vines, using organic fertilizers in moderation and growing grass between and plowing under the rows.
Clos Roche Blanche is a model of non-interventionist winemaking. The winery has been farming organically since the 1970s, and beginning with the 1995 vintage, the winery received the official "organic agricultural" accreditation. They hand-harvest their grapes. The must is handled by gravity at all stages. The wines then age on their lees, and are bottled by gravity by hand without filtration to avoid mechanical manipulation that would unsettle it.
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