A modern amalgam of two great and long established Loire estates, Domaine Jo Pithon in Anjou and the ancient Chateau de Chamboureau across the river in Savennières, run with flair and fine attention to detail by Julien Fournier. It is a union that has created one of the most significant holdings in the Savennières appellation, with 30 hectares under vine and the potential for up to 60. The old Jo Pithon section is planted to Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and a little Cabernet Sauvignon, whilst the Savennières is now entirely Chenin. In 2015 a new, somewhat monolithic cuvérie was completed, and the organic regime is giving way to a full biodynamic philosophy. The grapes are picked entirely manually, with up to 5 tries through the vines for both the dry Savennières and the sweet Coteaux de Layon and Quarts de Chaume cuvées. Of those dry Savennières, the Croix Picot, which comes from schistous clays and sandy soils, is fermented and aged in large wooden cuve, whilst the Chamboureau cuvée is vinified in stainless steel, with élevage in oak barriques of which around 10-15% are replaced each year.
The Croix Picot is finely crafted, with aromatic complexity and character, with excellent ripeness, vinosity and a fine streak of minerality, whilst the Chamboureau elevates this character with elements of smoke and vanilla derived from the barriques, yet still with great subtlety, polish and finesse, and a fine grip from the acidity, which promises some interesting potential in the cellar.
The name of the domaine, incidentally, is derived from Julien’s grandparents’ surnames, Fournier and Longchamps.
DOMAINE FL, Savennières
|2018||SAVENNIÈRES La Croix Picot||£25.95||£24.50|