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Clos de Tue-Boeuf 'Vin Rouge' 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 'Vin Rouge' 100% Gamay. As for their entry-level white Vin Blanc, the Vin Rouge is made with sourced, organically farmed fruit from friends in the Cher Valley (the Puzelats' home turt in the Touraine). The bunches are kept whole and fermented spontaneously and carbonically with a short maceration and no sulfur. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks and bottled with a maximum of 20 mg/l of SO2. In 2019, this is a gorgeous juicy fresh wine, showing lovely round black raspberry and blackberry fruit, supple, sapid and refreshing, really a perfect thirst-quenching Gamay. There is never enough of this beautiful wine to go around, so don't delay. As always the glass is hard to put down as it should be and is a benchmark of which there are now many imitators.