- Item #: i_350029Bottle Size: 750mlIn 2009, the château’s new owner, le Comte de Colbert, asked Yves Lambert and his son, Arnaud, from Domaine de Saint-Just, to manage the estate. They accepted with a twenty-five year lease and immediately began a hard work of converting these historical vineyards to organic culture after more than fifty years of chemical farming. Today, five after many years of quality farming and the deft touch of Arnaud, the brilliance of the wines known centuries ago is reemerging.
Inside the bottle: The wine starts out aromatically expressing the magic that limestone imparts to its local vine community. Pure and striking fruits, like sweet lime, meyer lemon with lemon curd, exotic spice and flint dart out of the glass and into the nose. If you can manage to keep it in the glass for a couple of hours of slow observation and drinking, the wine will take you on a rollercoaster of highs that seem only to climber higher with every passing minute. Acidity? More than you can imagine but somehow it presents itself gently on the finish after a somewhat overwhelming initial attack from the first sip. The wine hasn’t a drop of tropical or rich, ripe fruit notes because this cold site rarely has a chance to develop botrytis, even in ideal years. The topsoil is pure sand with limestone gravel that has been unearthed from the tuffeau limestone that sits on thirty centimeters below the soil. It’s pure sand and limestone soils make it the most unique soil structure on the hill. Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a white wine in the world that carries this fair of a price.
- Item #: i_344231Bottle Size: 750MLBrézé is a unique site due to its relatively high elevation and eminently nuanced geological profile. The high composition of tuffeau, a porous, chalky limestone also used in the construction of much of the Loire’s Renaissance architecture, results in finely mineral Chenin Blanc. Clay and sand also lend themselves to the diversity of the terroirs, giving body to the reds and richness to the whites. With five historic and clearly delimited Clos to work with, the Lambert duo has the incredible opportunity to truly understand and reveal the distinctions within this extraordinary appellation.
- Item #: i_353223Bottle Size: 750mlEvelyne de Pontbriand took over her venerable family estate—known historically as the Château des Vaults but now as Domaine du Closel—in 2001 in a career change from teaching French literature. Her mother Michèle de Jessey was a notable figure in the Chenin-only appellation of Savennières, having inherited the estate from her aunt, Madame du Closel; she was devoted to all things Savennières, and even became its president, the first woman to run an AOC.
Evelyne inherited her mother’s passion and technical acuity and now meticulously manages the estate, which comprises 13 hectares of Chenin Blanc (as well as 3 of Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon). The estate was certified organic in 2006 and received full biodynamic certification as of the 2015 vintage. Savennières is a famously unique, intense, savory and structured expression of Chenin Blanc, thanks to the preponderance of schist, a form of slate, in its soils; Evelyne has learned from her 16 years on the job that meticulous, minimal farming and winemaking is the most effective way to convey its essence.
100% Chenin Blanc. La Jalousie is a blend of several parcels of younger (20-year-old) vines planted in schistous soils on gentle hills. Like the rest of the Closel vines, they are biodynamically farmed, low-yielding and harvested by hand. They are the first of the estate to be harvested, when the grapes are pale yellow, crisp and totally healthy. The bunches are direct-pressed, then fermented with native yeasts and a small amount of sulfur in tank. The wine is tank-aged on its lees, without any exposure to air, for 9 months before bottling. Normally, Jalousie doesn't go through malo but in the warm 2018 vintage, it did so. Jalousie is intended to be a modern rendition of Savennières: approachable and fresh in its youth, as a result of not being over-ripened, botrytis-influenced or long- or wood-aged.
- Item #: i_350578Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 94WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Green plum and verbena notes lead the way for now, with a flash of quinine on the finish. This is juicy, but still a bit compact overall, with the core of ample pear, quince and ginger flavors in reserve. Just wait for everything to knit together and stretch out, as the purity and length are there. Best from 2018 through 2028."