Country: France Region: Loire Vintage: 2021
Category: White Wine Colour: White Grape: Chenin Blanc
Producer: Domaine des Sables Verts
Caroline Meurée & Hervé Malinge are a young winemaking couple who met while studying in Bordeaux. Despite neither of them being from the Loire Valley, in 2019 they bought Domaine des Sables Verts in the heart of Saumur Champigny and embarked on their first vintage. The domaine comprises 16 hectares of vines across 5 communes (Varrains, Chacé, Saumur, Souzay-Champigny and Parnay) which they intend to work organically in order to maintain the soil diversity. The vines lie on deep clay-limestone soils that are rich in tuffeau and green sand, or ‘sables verts’, which inspired the name of the domaine. Fifteen hectares are planted with Cabernet Franc and just one with Chenin Blanc.
The grapes for the Saumur Blanc come from three separate parcels. The specific plots of ‘Bonneveaux’ and ‘Elettes’, which make up about 50% of the blend, are vinified and aged for four months in used French oak barrels, with regular bâtonnage. The other half comes from the ‘Rouères’ parcel, which is vinified in stainless steel, before the final blend is assembled and bottled in January. The potential of the forty-year-old vines of ‘Les Rouères’ persuaded Caroline and Hervé to produce a single-vineyard wine. Vinified and aged in new four hectolitre French oak barrels, the wine is kept on fine lees for 12 months to add both richness and texture. ‘Les Rouères’ has an intensely floral character with notes of grapefruit and ripe pear underpinned by a vibrant acidity and a distinct mineral edge.
Tasting Note: Characterised by layers of fresh citrus notes and ripe apricot, the wine is beautifully textured with a backbone of lively acidity.