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Nicolas Joly Savennieres Clos de La Bergerie 2014

Chenin Blanc from Anjou, Loire, France
  • D96
  • W&S93
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • W&S90
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Winemaker Notes

The vines have an average age of 25 years and, of course, the vineyards are farmed biodynamically using only indigenous yeasts in the fermentation. Fermented and aged in neutral barrels, this wine evokes the classic beeswax and lychee nose of great Chenin. The mouth feel is more linear than the Vieux Clos with more aging time needed to open up to notes of quince, baked apple and some exotic citrus.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
D 96
Decanter
Known as the Coulée de Serrant’s little sister, this is a beautiful expression of Chenin Blanc. An explosion of flavours in the mouth, a sphere of orange blossom, white truffles, saffron and rich lemons. There is a multitude of flavour here, complex like you can barely believe, and yet each one is expressed with delicacy and finesse. Joly says he loves wines that ‘cast a light as they go’, and the poetry of that phrase makes total sense here. Indigenous yeasts and although under 10ppm of sulphur added, it’s remarkably stable – the wine we drank here had been open for 8 days and yet still tasted fresh and full of life.
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Perhaps the least challenging of Joly’s three cuvées from his biodynamic estate, this grows on schist soils with an eastern exposure. It’s also the most synesthetic, presenting its tastes in a sunrise of color, from golden quince to red-hued tannins. It’s pure and honeyed without any sense of sweetness or any notes of oxidation (well, one taster did pick up on some volatile acidity, but that comes with the territory). Bursting with freshness, this is powerful, grand Savennières.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Intensely yellow in color, the 2014 Roche-aux-Moines Clos de la Bergerie has a deep and concentrated bouquet of ripe and stewed stone fruits along with herbal seeds. This wine needs a lot of time to open up and should be decanted for hours. Round, rich and elegant on the palate, with a racy acidity attack, great density and a lively mineral purity and backbone, this is a powerful, firmly structured Chenin; it has a good tannin grip and a long and intense finish. Still somewhat closed and bitter, but the concentration and rich fruit is obvious. Although I didn't have the chance to follow this bottle over days, I am pretty sure it will become an even more exiting wine with (much) more aeration.
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Nicolas Joly

Nicolas Joly

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Nicolas Joly, Anjou, Loire, France
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Nicolas Joly returned, leaving behind a career in finance, to the fabled Coulée de Serrant in 1977. The celebrated vineyard, which comprises its own appellation, was planted in the 1130s. At first he implemented modern agricultural methods, but afters three years he became troubled by subtle but noticeable alterations in the vineyards. After reading a book on biodynamics that he picked up by chance, he became fascinated by the concept, and embarked on a experimental reconversion of a small area of vineyards. Rapidly convinced by the results, he started to implement biodynamic practices across the estate and has been Demeter and Ecocert certified since 1984. In 2001, he founded "La Renaissance des Appellations/Return to Terroir" and today the organization boasts 140 producers from around world. He has written many books on the subject, and is widely considered a pioneer and leader of the biodynamic wine movement.

Known for its delightful whites and sparkling Pétillant and Mousseux, made predominantly of Chenin blanc, Anjou has a temperate and dry maritime climate. The region's limited temperature variations are admiringly referred to locally as the “douceur angevine,” or “Anjou sweetness.” Fruit forward rosé and red wines from Cabernet Franc and Gamay merit Anjou its success within the Loire subregions.

Chenin Blanc

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Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. While most would agree it reigns supreme when from its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin is the most planted variety in South Africa. California’s Clarksburg appellation is also winning more notoriety for its Chenin.

In the Glass

Chenin's drier versions commonly have characteristics of passion fruit, lemon, quince, green apple, saffron and chamomile while sweeter version express aromas and flavors such as yellow pear, white peach, persimmon, melon, ginger and honeysuckle. When aged in oak, qualities like meringue and brioche can be found. Sparkling versions often have yellow apple, ginger and floral notes.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin blanc has the chalky acidity to work with light seafood such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food. The sparkling versions such as Saumur Mousseux, Vouvray Petillant and Crémant de Loire make amazing aperitif options that won’t bruise the pocketbook.

Sommelier Secret

South Africa actually has double the amount of Chenin blanc planted compared to France. It is believed that either the Dutch navigator, Jan van Riebeeck, brought the grape to Cape Town in 1655 or the Huguenots fleeing France brought it in 1685. Either way, the South Africans have favored it for many centuries and make it in almost every style. Today a new wave of dedicated producers has committed to restoring old Chenin vines and finding the most ideal new spots for this prized variety.

DBWDB6423_14_2014 Item# 164810