Tue-Boeuf, Clos du

  • Touraine, Loire, France
Clos du Tue-Boeuf

Thank you to importer Louis/Dressner for this profile of Clos du Tue-Boeuf: 

(Click here for Louis/Dressner's Tue-Boeuf entry on their website)

Since the Middle Ages, there have been records about the lieu-dit “le Tue-Boeuf” and its excellent wines which were enjoyed by the local nobility and the kings of France; the family name Puzelat is mentioned in 15th century documents. History, though, is not the story here. It’s about two brothers, Jean-Marie and Thierry Puzelat, who tend their 10-hectare family estate in Les Montils (part of the Cheverny AOC) and rent four hectares in a village nearby to produce AOC Touraine.

The region, near the hunting grounds of Sologne, has always used a wide variety of grapes. Since the 60’s, the Puzelats' father had been making his own selections of vines to replant, leaving his sons with vines of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris (since ripped out), Menu Pineau (or Orbois), Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Côt (or Malbec). A visit to their cellar feels like a tour de France of varietals, each wine with its distinct personality, lovely label and wonderful name. Some cuvées are so small that there is never enough to go around.

Jean-Marie was joined on the estate by his younger brother Thierry in the early 90’s and they began converting their vines to organic viticulture. When the Cheverny AOC was created with the 1993 vintage, some varietals became outlawed from the blends, and the brothers started a yearly struggle to get their wines accepted under the new appellation (it bears to mention that they were also in their earliest stages of experimenting with sulfur free winemaking).

While firm believers in the AOC system, this began a trend of the brothers selling some of their wines as declassified Vin de Pays (now Vin de France).  For us, it was one of the first examples of customers knowing and trusting the estate's work methods over the appellation itself. And while we cannot claim the Puzelats were the first to do this, it clearly served as a monumental influence in the world of natural wine, setting an example for those having problems or feeling stifled by their appellations' criteria.

Speaking of natural wine, Clos du Tue-Boeuf, along with Marcel Richaud, Dard and Ribo, Yvon Metras and a handful of others were at the heart of the nascent movement in mid-90's Paris. They are undoubtedly the impetus for spreading this philosophy in the Loire, which remains a hotbed of the style to this day. As Hervé Villemade, himself part of the the second wave of natural winemakers in the late 90's, puts it: "What really made me start to believe I could make wines in this style were Thierry Puzelat's. Marcel Lapierre's were the spark, but he lived 450 kilometers away from me and was working with very different terroirs; having a neighbor pull it off right next door was the inspiration and motivation to follow in his footsteps."

Image PRODUCT Description

DB0531-19
Organic
Vin Blanc VDF
2019
Sauvignon Blanc
100% Sauvignon Blanc. The Vin Blanc is the starting point for Tue-Boeuf's whites. The fruit is sourced from farmer friends in the Cher... Read More
DB1021-19
Organic
Le Petit Buisson VDF
2019
Sauvignon Blanc
100% Sauvignon Blanc. Tue Boeuf has been sourcing from this site known as Petit Buisson on the north bank of the Cher since 2003. It is an... Read More

DB8333-18
Organic
Frileuse Cheverny Blanc
2018
White Blend
1/3 each Sauvignon/Fié Gris/Chardonnay. Roughly translated as "little cold one", Frileuse is an apt name for this frost-prone, 3.8-hectare... Read More
DB7026-18
Organic
Romorantin VDF
2018
Romorantin
100% Romorantin. This is the rarest of Tue-Boeuf whites due to scarce quantity. Organically farmed, hand-harvest estate fruit. As is... Read More

DB8334-18
Organic
Brin de Chèvre Touraine Blanc
2018
Menu Pineau
100% Menu Pineau. Brin de Chèvre ("goat's hay") comes from two neighboring parcels, one planted in 1937 and the other in 1950; currently,... Read More

DB8376-19
Organic
Vin Rosé VDF
2019
Gamay
100% Gamay.  The Puzelats source organically farmed fruit from friends in the Touraine as well as in the Beaujolais. The bunches are hand-... Read More
DB2352-19
Organic
Tutti Frutti Rosé VDF
2019
Gamay
Pineau d'Aunis/Menu Pineau/Pineau de la Loire (Chenin Blanc)/other. Tutti Frutti is a whimsically named field blend rosé from a small (... Read More

DB0527-19
Biodynamic
La Butte VDF
2019
Gamay
100% Gamay. La Butte or "the hill" is an organically farmed, hand-harvested 1.7-hectare parcel of 85-year-old Gamay on flinty clay-... Read More

DB9975-19
Organic
La Caillère Cheverny Rouge
2019
Pinot Noir
100% Pinot Noir. La Caillère is a 1.35-hectare estate plot of 35-to40-year-old Pinot Noir vines planted on very deep clay over limestone.... Read More

DB8346-19
Organic
La Guerrerie VDF
2019
Côt
90% Côt/10% Gamay. La Guerrerie is an estate parcel named in reference to its history as a battlefield in the Hundred Years' War. It is a... Read More

DB8777-19
Organic
Pineau d'Aunis VDF
2019
Pineau d'Aunis
100% Pineau d'Aunis. Pineau d'Aunis is an historical black grape of the Touraine--in the same family with Menu Pineau and its more... Read More