What's New in October
Chai at Comte Leloup
A little-known fact about the Muscadet appellation is that within it are a system of crus, called "crus communaux". As in Savoie, for example, certain specific terroirs within the larger appellation are recognized as having particular and distinctive characteristics. These crus are named for nearby villages, and in order to add the village name to the label the vineyards must not only be within a geographical zone, but the wines must also be produced according to higher standards than those used for generic Muscadet.
Father/Daughter team Bernard and Louise Chéreau
At this time, three crus communaux have been recognized: Gorges, Clisson, and Le Pallet. These are irrelevant for the wines of Chéreau Carré, but there are 6 more in the process of being recognized. Chéreau Carré is playing a big role in gaining recognition for two of these: Saint-Fiacre and La Haie Fouassière.
Centennial vines at Comte Leloup
Of the two, Saint-Fiacre is the more advanced in the process: it should be recognized shortly. Interestingly, Compte Leloup de Chasseloir, the wine that would fall under this designation, is already made with stricter norms than the new cru requires. Indeed, manual harvest and bottle aging are not mandatory; though both are standard practice at Chéreau Carré.
Aerial perspective of l’Oiselinière
The story with La Haie Fouassière is even more interesting. Even though the recognition process is less developed at this time, the end result could be much more significant. Château l’Oiselinière vineyard would be within this cru. However, the geologists and other experts working on this project have determined the l’Oiselinière vineyard constitutes a distinct terroir all to itself, by virtue of its special location, exposure, and geology. The next step after the development of cru communaux could be a category of grands crus, in which l’Oiselinière would be recognized as a monopole. Seeing the aerial pictures of the vineyards one can see how this makes sense. This would be fitting recognition for a site we already know is truly special.
A Napoleonic map of l’Oiselinière
In the Press
From Spanish Wine Lover
Yolanda Ortiz de Arri profiles El Maestro Sierra in "El Maestro Sierra: a tale of courage and perseverance."
Eater asks a.kitchen and a.bar wine director Mariel Wega "Which Unknown Grape Varietals Will Be Big in 10 Years?"
From Craving Boston
Ellen Bhang recommends "Bubblies So Good You Don't Need a Reason to Celebrate."
From Danielle Françoise Fournier/WINE
Danielle Françoise Fournier writes "The Loire Valley Part One: Serious Muscadet at Domaine Chéreau Carré."
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