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Chateau la Variere
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My tasting this week is another from the wine finder catalogue found at the Angers wine Fair this year. Its a dessert wine from Chateau la Variere
The wine origins of the chateau started in fifteenth century so it has a long tradition. It is located near the village of Brissac-Quince, Anjou, the Château was a manor Varière the Middle Ages. The two old cellars, the oldest of the XVth century are remarkable for the beauty of their architecture. The vineyard is vast and varied. It covers 110 hectares and most of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) of Anjou are produced at the castle.
National and international recognition of the chateau contribute to the reputation of the wines of Anjou in France and in the world.
Designations of origin (PDO), The vineyard is located at the junction of the Paris basin sedimentary (old primeval ocean) characterized by white and brittle rocks, and Armorican (black and hard rock).
The architecture of the region is very revealing in this regard: the stones white limestone tufa mingle with black stones Shale.
Anjou Rouge AOP AOP Anjou Villages Brissac
The two great red grapes of Anjou are Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cabernet Franc is the most common red grape variety in the Val de Loire.
A second generation grape with thin skins, Cabernet Franc is quite fragile and requires a climate both dry and mild. Anjou with 600 mm of annual water and mild climate suits this perfectly.
All parcels planted with Cabernet Franc at the Château Varière have calcareous soils. By its porous texture this soil type corresponds to the nature of Cabernet Franc, which requires regular water supplies.
Historically Cabernet Sauvignon has always been listed in Anjou, particularly in the Brissac region. This third generation variety, has late maturity and is best wth hot, dry soils black shales that accelerate ripening. Its strong tannic structure comes from ageing best in oak barrels. Bonnezeaux AOP, Quarts de Chaume AOP AOP Coteaux du Layon, Aubance Coteaux AOP The sweet of the Loire Valley are from the varietal chenin blanc. This variety of third-generation and highly susceptible to botrytis cinerea (noble rot) especially as autumn comes alongs with the Angevin misty mornings. Located in the Anjou on black slate floors, many so-called sweet wines are distinguished from each other by veins of soils and landscape and soil conditions (more or less steep hills) which ensure different taste of diversity and concentration of residual sugar after fermentation. AOP Cabernet d’Anjou, Anjou Blanc AOP The Cabernet d’Anjou is a pink with a natural sweetness. At the Château Varière the Cabernet d’Anjou are from Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Anjou Blanc Château la Varière is a dry white wine made from Chenin Blanc. It is aged in barrels on fine lees.
Great importance is given to cultivation methods at the chateau. The methods of rational cultivation allow the vines to flourish in the best possible environment. Grass uses water for development and restricts the amount of rain water absorbable by the vine. By grass clippings decomposition provide natural nutrition for the vines.
Spacing of vines and height for the different areas have been developed over time and many studies on the growth of the vine and its development patterns have concluded the optimal height of foliage for best photosynthesis for sugar production in the berries. The optimum ratio for vine height to distance between rows is for the northern areas in the range of 0.6 to 0.8 (foliage / row width in height) to a maximum of foliage height 2m10-2m20 for the wind stability. At Varière they apply a coefficient of 0.7, a density of 5,000 vines per hectare and a width of rank 2m. The vines can grow up to 1m and 80 in height, allowing for maximum photosynthesis.
There are no unnecessary treatment. The dates of the latest treatments are based on the collection dates in order to prevent any possible residue in the must.
The wine tasted was a Coteaux du Layon AOP sweet wine which won a gold medal at the Fair. It has a straw colour with a shade of gold. It is expressive to the nose with honeyed sweet sensation. In the mouth it is has a balnce of the sugar with an acidic layer giving a harmonious mouth of candied fruits and citrus fruit flavours. A great wine paired with Foie Gras or a dessert such as Tarte Tatin.
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