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Clos de Tue-Boeuf 'Pineau de la Loir' 2019

(From Importer Andrew Guard)

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.

Pineau de la Loire is the original name of Chenin blanc, in this case, the blend is 90% Chenin and 10% Menu Pineau grown on a mix of Clay, Flint, sand and gravel. The vines were planted betweem 1993 and 2013. The grapes are crushed gently, the juice ferments and ages 7 months in old barrels. It is bottled unfined, unfiltered with a tiny amount of SO2. Lovely citrus and wild flowers on the nose, the palate is soft and gentle, with pear, apple and lime character. The wine brings a smile and finishes with a satisfying minerally zing!