A visit to Chateau d'Epiré in Epiré, Savennières and Domaine Cady in St Aubin de Luigne showed us what a difficult year this is proving to be for Chenin Blanc. Luc Bizard walked around his vineyards with us and gave us an update. The Hu Boyau vineyard was harvested on September 2nd. Recent weather conditions forced them to sweep through and pick all the fruit in one pass. Other parcels such as that for the Cuvée Speciale remain on the vine athough they have passed through and cleaned up the rot that has set in due to the recent wet weather.
These grapes are looking pretty healthy, the vines have been opened up and leaf stripped to ensure plenty of air is drying up any excess moisture.
Lovely views from Savennières look over towards La Corniche Angevine and the vineyards of the Coteaux du Layon.
We tasted the 2009s in the chai - interesting to note the differences between the Reserve du Maitre de Chai which has been aged in Acacia and has not been through malo, the Cuvée Speciale that has been aged in old chestnut and the Hu Boyau that has spent time in new oak. The wines have a lovely grapfruit mineral edge and plenty of obvious ageing potential. The acidity of the wine that has not been through malo is noticeably higher.
Luc anticipates passing through the remaining parcels in about a week's time. Meanwhile he was busy oxygenating his already fermenting wine from Hu Boyau in the winery.
Update from Cady to follow.