Grape(s): Pinot Noir, Gamay
Localization: Cheverny, Loire, France
Tasting Notes: is so lively it feels like there's a gymnastics class going on in your mouth. Full of scents of vibrant red fruit: think cherries and strawberries, there's also a serious side here. It might be Hervé's entry-level cuvée but there's a lot going on - you'll notice thyme and licorice notes join the fruit after you give the wine a moment in your mouth.
Notes: The wine was naturally fermented and macerated for fifteen days, and aged in old oak barrels. This is hands-off winemaking, as natural and simple as possible, to allow the grape to shine. Sandy clay Silex and Limestone soils.
Food pairing: The perfect red for spring and summer nights outside by the BBQ.
The Domain: Hervé Villemade adopted organic farming and natural winemaking practices in the 90s, for his 22 hectares of vines in the Cheverny appellation of the Loire. His vineyards are planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Menu Pineau, Romorantin, Côt, Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Chenin Blanc. Soils here divide roughly between sandy-flint and clayey-flint. Vines are spaced relatively wide at two meters, and even wider for the older vines that comprise the historical heart of the estate.
His chief concern, as he’s expanded over the years, has been minimizing frost risk. It was frost losses that impelled him, in 2002, to partner with sommelier-turned-winemaker Olivier Lemasson to found Les Vins Contés, a négoçiant business that Lemasson continued after the pair parted ways in 2006. Villemade founded his own négoçiant company in 2008, which he continues to this day. Not all purchases have organic certification, although he emphasizes that all grapes are farmed organically.