Chateau de Chaintres has the terroir: classic tuffeau chalk, clay-limestone, and sandy soils right in the heart of the appellation. They have old vines (50+ years). They have a new winemaker devoted to biodynamics, who worked on many of our favorite Loire Valley wines as the right-hand man at Philippe Gilbert.Chaintres makes two cuvées, an old vine and a basic Saumur-Champigny. They're from similar terroirs, and they're both made with a light touch and minimal sulfur (only at bottling to keep the wine stable for shipping).Sure enough, the wines have a lot in common. Both are fresh, have beautiful fruit and floral notes (like crushed roses), with earthy undertones. Both have integrated tannins that don't get in the way of enjoyment of the wine.But the old vines dig really deep, giving us much more of the terroir. There’s a salty, savory edge to this wine, a hint of licorice complexity. And there’s more… of everything. More of the cassis. More of the crushed roses. More dark fruit and more earth. More nose, more density and more length.
What importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant has to say about this wine...
The vines that plunge the deepest into the tuffeau below are bottled separately, with the “Vieilles Vignes” cuvée comprising parcels ranging from 50 to 80 years of age. Maceration is extended here up to 30 days (the 2018 underwent 25 days), and aging occurs in a combination of stainless steel and used barrels of varying shapes and sizes (demi-muid, cuve tronconique, various foudres). Despite the expected increase in concentration and structure with this wine compared to “Les Sables,” the same sense of freshness permeates this wine—making it “très digeste” indeed. Tannins are again graceful, but the underlying sense of minerality is more assertive here, contributing a salty-savory edge absent in the more fruit-driven “Les Sables.”
Earthy , Fruity , Minerally