François Saint-Lo Les Pouches 2017

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Saumur, Loire, France
Chenin Blanc
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
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The very first vintage of a new Chenin Blanc cuvée that comes from a parcel François is now renting from Sylvain Dittiere, following him ceasing the production of Les Fontennelle. The parcel is situated in an ancient river bed and the vines are around 30 years old. A third of the harvest macerated whole bunch for about 2 weeks, while the rest was directly pressed. They were kept separated in 600L barrels plus the Stockinger (1200L), then everything was put together a few weeks before bottling. Beautiful texture - amazing fruit, almost tropical but with so much minerality. Starting to show very well.

In troglodyte caves deep in Berrie, near Saumur François Saint-Lô runs the Rue Des Belles Caves. Working in restaurants & wine bars he then dived headlong into winemaking, learning with producers like Olivier Cousin & Eric Dubois... Eventually he bought his own place near Berrie, approximately 25km south of Saumur, it was basically an ancient ruin, but has previously been used for wine production and since 2012 is being restored with the help of friends. Like his mentors François prefers to work with horses in the vineyards and all other work is done by hand. In the cellar he & the team use old barrels, fibreglass and a hundred year-old press that was there when he took over the place.