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La Croix de Chaintres
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Saumur Champigny 2011

Saumur Champigny, France

100% cabernet franc

Tasted August2013- If you are new to the realm of traditional wines of Loire, this may take you by surprise. However, for the long time fans, this hits home like a bull's eye. This is clearly Cabernet Franc, as only the cool climate and pure soils of the Loire region can produce. Absolutely loaded with smoky-flinty minerals, opulent black berry fruits, a wild herbed aroma and a crunchy texture that can not be defined as anything else. Its hard to say what is more complex, the flavors or the texture itself. The former never quite settles on purity, as it alternates between bush-ripened berries and leathery-charred, almost black peppery seasoning. The feel has a similar display of opposing forces. A clearly recognizable acidity courses through (what wants to be) a smooth, lavish center, while a strong tannin adds friction on teeth and tongue. The finish, as you would expect, is layered and sophisticated. Dry, thin and elegant. Amazing, considering we discovered this is their ready-to-drink, unoaked wine, this is meant for the immediate consumption, thus the screwtop easy-access. We would attest to that. It goes in and down well enough, but without forcing the drinker to stop and question what exactly is going on. There is so much interaction. Lets say this leaves a lasting impression and probably will evoke some serious reaction, especially for the new inductee to Saumur wines. For those who like this style however, will be extremely happy the pop the cork, as it is as classic as it is unique. This is a new(ish) project from the Domaine Filliatreaux, who purchased the neighboring vineyards to produce this wine, intentionally vinified in stainless steel and bottled in screw-cap. As the importer describes it, "The idea here is to make just one wine, unoaked, screwcap-sealed, super-fresh and fruity. With crispy, crunchy fruit, silky tannins and the trademark lifted floral aromatics of Saumur-Champigny, this wine is delicious served slightly chilled, but is in no way frivolous? On the contrary, its attractive personality disguises quite considerable depth." Agreed.


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The Label

Producer: La Croix de Chaintres
Wine (proprietary name): Saumur Champigny
Vintage: 2011
Labeled as: appellation title
Country of origin: France
Region: Loire Valley
Area/Appellation: Saumur Champigny
Classification of Appellation: a.o.c.
Classification of Wine:
Alcohol %: 13.00

The Winemaking

Winemaker: Fredrik Filliatreau
Assistant Winemaker: Paul Filliatreau
First Date of Production: 2005
Handling of Fruit: hand picked
Sorted: sorted at picking, sorted at table
Stem: all destemmed
Yield of Harvest:
Method of Crush/Pressing: mechanical press Press Type: pneumatic
Pre-fermantation Soak/Maceration: Y     Length of Soak: several hours
Temperature Controlled: Y
Free Run Juice Only: Y
Gravity Fed to Vessels: N
Type of Vessel for Fermentation: Stainless Steal/Inox
Size of Vessel:
Vessel Seal: Open Top
Fermentation Temperature Controlled: Y
Fermentation Style: Induced
Type of Yeasts: Cultured Yeasts
Carbonic Maceration: N
Length of Fermentation: 10 Day(s)
Pumped Over/Cap Agitation: N
Malolactic Fermentation: Y    Percent: 100.00%
CO2/SO2 Added on Fermentation: SO2
Type of Ageing Vessel: Stainless Steal/Inox
Origin of Barrels (if used):
Size of Barrels Used: 0
Length of Maturation: 4 Month(s)
Extended Lees Contact: N
Fined (Type): N
Filtered (Type): N
Moved to Multiple Vessels?:
Date of Bottling: 0000-00-00
Age in Bottle Before Release: 0 Month(s)
Number of Bottles (750ml) Produced: 0
Number of Magnums Produced: 0
Number of Half Bottles (375ml) Produced: 0
Closure Type: Screwtop
Bottled with SO2: Y
Alcohol %: 13.00
Residual Sugars (Gram/Liter):
Total Acidity (Gram/Liter): 0.00
Total Ph: 0.00

The Vineyard

Total Vines Planted: 50 Hectare
Density of Vines:
Wine Vineyard: Single Vineyard
Source Vineyard: Sourced from other Vineyards
Exposition of Vineyards: S, SW
Soil Type(s): The vineyard rests atop a tufa-stone outcrop that runs along the Loire river for a number of kilometers. The soil and subsoil of the vineyard are highly calcareous.
Elevation of Vineyards:
Vineyards Description: Hillside, Riverside
Average Age of Vines:
Farming Methods: Sustainable
Irrigation: dry farmed
Additional Vineyard Information: Although parts of the full Domaine of Filliatreau are farmed organically, and some Bio-dynamically, economical reasons have maintained this wine to be produced traditionally. A method known as Lutte-Raisonee is administered, where limited chemical assistance is applied, if and only if, there is no other natural solution.