Clos de Tue-Boeuf 'Pineau d'Aunis' 2020
Clos de Tue-Boeuf are making some of the Loire’s best and certainly most interesting wines and have done for many years.
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.
2020 Vin de France Rouge 'Pineau d'Aunis' The Puzelats source tiny quantities of Pineau d'Aunis, mainly from neighbor vigneronne Valérie Forgues, who organically tends and hand harvests her hundred-plus-year-old vines. 2015 was their first vintage of this bottling. The wine is aged for 6 months in old barrels and was bottled and vinified with zero added sulfur. The aromas are floral with ripe raspberry, blackberry and blood orange, with pepper, brown spice, and musk notes. The palate is lush and bright with plum skin and blackberry fruit, very earthy firm acidity and berry fruits in the finish. Very delicious now, served cool, but probably best after a few years of cellaring - a superb Pineau d'Aunis!