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Vin de France 2015, Les Noëls de Montbenault (sold out)
  • 189. Vin de France 2015, Les Noëls de Montbenault (sold out)

    Richard Leroy

    100% Chenin (12.5% alc.)

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    The vines here are planted in soils developed over the eroded base of an ancient volcano on the plateau of a windy ridge of hills overlooking the river Layon. Harvested from only ripe grapes (any botrytised grapes were individually cut out) and fermented dry, the wine has a sumptuous concentration on the palate, with a hint of quince and a notable mineral (irony) flavour. Rich but balanced and very long on the finish, this is an exceptional wine. No sulphur at all from 2011. For drinking now to 2023+.

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Further details
Winemaker
Richard Leroy. Domaine started in 1997
Location
Rablay-sur-Layon
Size of domaine
2.7 hectares (of which 2 hectares produce Noels de Montbenault). 7000 bts produced on average of this wine
Grape
Chenin, 45 yrs old, 5800 vines per hectare
Terroir
Site of an ancient volcano. Soils comprise rhyolites (very dense heavy rock made of iron, magnesium, feldspar, & quartz) and spilites where core of volcano sited. 50 metres away from here these soils are not found. Sited just on the edge of a windy ridge of hills overlooking the River Layon, with a due south tilt.
Viticulture
Leaves grass to grow every other row. The soils are ploughed. No chemical weeders or insecticides are used. Only treatments are Bordeaux mix, sulphur and bio-dynamic preparations. He debuds, clips off any mini shoots and only if necessary carries out vendanges en verts. Harvest is manual and carried out by meticulous tries searching out ripe but not over-ripe bunches (between 5 and 11 sorties are carried out every year). Any botrytised or passerilled grapes are cut out. Yields have varied between 7-30 hectos per hectare (average is 20).
Vinification
The grapes are pressed by a pneumatic press – very slow pressing followed by a period of 12 hours when the wine is left on the gross lees. Natural yeasts only are used. No chaptalisation. The wine is then transferred to 225ltr barrels (one third new up to 3 years old) for fermentation. Slow alcoholic fermentation over 4-5 months followed by malo-lactics. No batonnage. Filtration par kieselghur – no fining – no S02 during elevage. The wine is bottled 1 year after harvest in September.
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