2020 Christian Venier Les Hauts de Madon Blanc13168
WINEMAKER: Christian Venier
REGION: Loire Valley, FR
VARIETAL: Sauvignon Blanc, Menu Pineau
With a deeply layered nose and an almost Savagnin-like oxidative lean, Menu Pineau lends aromatic and textural complexity that is unique in the Loire. A bit of tropical lychee note from Sauvignon Blanc, with viscosity and earthy/herbaceous notes from the Menu Pineau. From the parcel named ‘Les Hauts de Madon’ the grapes are hand-harvested from of 50 year old vines, planted to 30ha of fine flinty clay soils. Whole-clusters are directly pressed, allowed to ferment at low temperatures and then remains on fine lees until bottling.
The domaine is situated in the sleepy agricultural village of Madon, balancing on the edge of the southern escarpment 100m above the Loire river, on the plateau of Cheverny. This is France’s garden - asparagus, herbs, vegetables and grain are all on the farming menu, along with viticulture. Christian Venier makes a clear statement that hard and honest vineyard and cellar work are essential to creating healthy natural wine, and implies going further than the standards required by certain certifying labels. He operates, therefore, under the “conventional” farming category. But his practices are purely artisanal and not at all conventional or industrial. The domaine is truly family run: 3 generations work the land and run the business today. The domaine works with a number of authentic and almost forgotten grape varieties unique to the Loire Valley, including Pineau d’Aunis, Orbois and Romorantin.