Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc Clos de Guichaux 2017


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100% Chenin Blanc. Guiberteau’s 1.4-hectare Clos de Guichauxvineyard is a monopole. The soil is the classic clay/limestone of the region but with only 30cm of topsoil before the roots must plunge directly into the pure, chalky bedrock. Clos de Guichauxis a historically renowned vineyard in Bizay, very near Brézé, and was replanted in the early 2000s with massale cuttings taken from the family’s best old vines in Brézé. It’s a site that is quickly cementing its place as one of Saumur’s finest white vineyards, thanks to wines like this.

The 2017 was fermented and raised for twelve months on lees in two-to-four-year-old barrels (600L light-toast Atelier Centre France and François Frères), followed by six months in tank. As you would expect, this is a big step up from the wines above, with more layers, density and complexity. Expect the same crystalline purity and chalky raciness of the other whites, but also some fresh nectarine and green pear notes, and more flesh and seduction. There’s the faintest hint of something creamy and honeyed on the long, perfumed, powdery close that hints at what bottle age will deliver. Just stunning wine that would stand up to many a Grand Cru white Burgundy (and will likely live longer)!