2013 Tue Boeuf Le Brin De Chevre Qvevri

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2013 Touraine Blanc 'Le Brin de Chèvre' Qvevri is a special wine - it is produced from Menu Pineau (rare cousin of Chenin Blanc) fermented naturally it is then aged for 12 months in Georgian amphorae - called Qvevri - see image below. This is a super example of this style of wine showing citrussy freshness, deep set minerality and is long in the mouth. A beauty  

 

Brothers Thierry and Jean-Marie Puzelat are legendary in their circle. They are making some of the Loire’s best and most interesting wines and form part of the founding soul of the natural wine movement  alongside Overnoy, Lapierre, Foillard, Gramenon, Souhaut and others. They began working in their family domaine in the early 1990s, and at the heart of the operation is the 10 hectare family estate—the Clos du Tue-Boeuf—in the Cheverny appellation.

Two things define the Puzelat brothers' rare wines: the diversity of their cuvées, and their tenacious work with nearly-extinct grape varieties that were common in the Loire not so long ago, but were put aside by the AOC for reasons having more to do with commercial simplification than quality and terroir.

The vineyards are tended on organic lines (their father never used chemicals), weed control being achieved by ploughing, and grass planted to provide further competition. The fruit is hand-harvested by a large and willing team, many of them part of the extended family - perhaps not that surprising when you consider that Thierry and Jean-Marie are just two out of seven children. Dead vines are replaced by tip-layering adjacent vines, an ancient method which avoids the over-representation of clones in the vineyard; it has the advantage of being very cheap, but the disadvantage of creating a vine which is franc de pied, on its own roots, rather than on a phylloxera-resistant rootstock.