Renaud Guettier is the first grower we have worked with that has no link whatsoever with Italy, the truth being that when we tasted these wines a few months ago they were simply so good that we had to bring them to London.
Renaud is based in the village of Bueil en Touraine, in the Coteaux du Loir, a forgotten winemaking region that happens to be the northernmost place you can make wine in France. It is an area is blessed with numerous hidden old parcels of Chenin Blanc and Pinot d’Aunis. Renaud trained as an agronomist specialising in plant physiology and in 2004 purchased half a hectare of old vines from his stepfather. Over the past decade he has added tiny parcels of old vines bit by bit and now farms over 25 plots across around 5 hectares, with an average vine age of 80 years.
The terroir is combination of clay, flint and chalky limestone and farming is both meticulous and admirable, done organically and by hand, without the use of chemicals or pesticides. Grapes are hand picked and brought to his cave in a former quarry dug into the limestone cliffs where they are wild fermented, basket pressed and fed by gravity to the cellar below. There they see a long elevage in old wooden casks, something Renaud considers vital when producing wines as he does, without filtration or the addition of sulphites. Once deemed ready, they are bottled by gravity, by hand.
These diverse plots of old, healthy vines and Renaud’s attention to detail to both farming and elevage yield chiseled, powerful wines of uncommon balance, elegance and detail. We fell in love with them the first time we tried them and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do. We have just received a small amount of the following wines.
La Grapperie — Le Pressoir de St Pierre 2012
Le Pressoir is the youngest of Renaud’s Chenin, though vines still average nearly 80 years old and the wine sees a 24 month elevage. The wine overdelivers on every level and offers a great introduction to his style of Chenin; crystalline and tightly coiled with a wonderful, lingering acidity.
La Grapperie — La Diablesse 2011
Here things are cranked up a notch, the wine spends 3 years in cask and for the final year is not topped up at all, adding a layer of savoury, saline depth to this remarkable Chenin.
La Grapperie — La Désirée 2008
This is Renaud’s masterpiece. From old parcels of Chenin Blanc, a 60 month elevage has yielded a remarkably detailed wine wine that shimmers with minerals and life. Stunning now, this will evolve for years in the cellar.
La Grapperie — Adonis 2013
Adonis is everything we love about Pinot d’Aunis. Pale, nimble and full of little red fruits, it has this gorgeous perfume of white pepper and herbs that just keeps you coming back to the glass. Impossible to put down.
La Grapperie — L’enchanteresse 2010
A wine that shows the true potential of Pinot d’Aunis. From a plot of 110 year old vines, it spends three years in old wood, leaving a hauntingly beautiful nose and a wine wonderfully vibrant and deep.