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Grainger’s wine blog weekly wine offer this week at www.gfwine.co.uk is a Loire valley wine from Chateau de Chaintres. This is a Cabernet de Saumur appellation wine from the cellars of Richard Desouche. A traditional pink wine from the region. The wine is on offer at £10.99 reduced from £12.10. A terrific price. It is made from the Loire red grape Cabernet Franc. The wine is made when the grapes have reached optimum maturity. It is carefully fermented and aged in the vats in the estate cellars to take in the flavours of the lees.
Chateau de Chaintres is a vineyard in the exclusive red wine Saumur Champigny Appellation of the Loire valley. Wine has been made at the chateau for generations. Chateau de Chaintres has been owned by the Tigny family since 1932. It has more than 20 hectares of vines situated in a delightful walled enclosure that surrounds the beautiful old manor house and vineyards. The terroir is favourable, with typical limestone and chalky soils and the south facing slopes maximises exposure to the sun.
The present estate director and winemaker is Richard Desouche, a vibrant vigneron who obtained his college qualifications before gaining experience in the field. He joined Chaintres in 2007 bringing fresh ideas and innovations.
Richard’s philosophy is to farm in an environmentally friendly way. The use of chemicals was stopped in 2009 and now only “natural” products are used in the vineyards. 2010 was the first year of Chaintres’ conversion into organic farming and biodynamic culture.
Now only ‘natural’ products such as copper and sulphur are used, only when necessary, in the control of diseases through careful monitoring of rainfall. No weed control chemicals are used and soils around and between the vines are left to grass naturally. Richard also applies biodynamic practises to his farming methods.
The grapes are all hand-picked and carefully selected with an eventual yield typically between 50 and 55 hl/ha. The yields at the chateau are low for the area, producing wines of good concentration, balance and colour. The wines produced are fine and delicate and an expression of the terroir. They are wines greatly enjoyed by the French in the chic wine bars and restaurants in Paris.
The small village of Chaintres to the west of Saumur, sits in the heart of the prestigious appellation of Saumur Champigny, a small red wine AOC area. Chateau de Chaintres was built in the 17th century by the monks attached to Fontevraud Abbey. The old stone walls that surround the chateau and the vineyards are still in place and lend an air of mystique to the quite magical setting. Some of the vines still in use were planted over 70 years ago. The majority of the vines are Cabernet franc, the red grape of Saumur Champigny.
Richard, the winemaker and great raconteur, has converted the vineyards into organic farming and he also practises biodynamics.
A rounded medium still red wine made from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes. An intense ruby robe, balanced and subtle on the palate. The wine is vinified in stainless steel tanks and then aged in the chalk cellars for 6 months to develop deeper more complex flavours. Serve slightly chilled i.e. around 16°C with roast meat, steaks and well hung game.
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