Coteaux du Loir "Eparses" Vieilles Vignes

2018
France
Loire

100% Chenin Blanc. Éparses is Bellivière's oldest-vine cuvée, with ages ranging from 70 to 86 years old, across multiple parcels in the Coteaux du Loir: the name "éparses" is in fact in reference to the parcellation of the vineyards. These old vines on flinty clay soils, rich in tuffeau (soft limestone), yield a maximumof 25 hl/ha. They are farmed biodynamically and harvested by hand. The fruit is direct-pressed and barrel-fermented with native yeasts and minimal sulfur; the wine is aged in 1-to-3-year old barrels with a small proportion (1/4) of new oak for one year. Each parcel is vinified and aged separately and blended before bottling. Éparses tends to be the most dry, powerful and structured of the Bellivière line-up; it will inevitably have at least a little residual that will not always be perceptible.

 

94 points
"The 2018 Vieilles Vignes Éparses from Domaine de Bellivière is an old vine selection of the very oldest chenin blanc vines that the Nicolas family owns in the Coteaux-du-Loir, with the vine age ranging from seventy to more than eighty-five years of age! Like all of the domaine’s vineyards, these vines are farmed biodynamically, harvested by hand and the wine is barrelfermented and about a quarter of the cuvée spends one year in new oak. The 2018 Éparses is ripe and finished at Demi-Sec levels this year (which is pretty sweet for this bottling, which will often seem quite dry, but again, it is the vintage’s characteristics that decide how much sweetness will be in the wine). The bouquet wafts from the glass in a lovely mix of sweet quince, a hint of orange, passion fruit, honeycomb, a lovely base of flinty soil tones and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is vibrant, full-bodied and has almost a sense of creaminess in the core from the very old vines, with lovely framing acids and grip, fine focus and a long, complex and seamlessly-balanced finish. This is superb juice. 2021-2045."
John Gilman,
View From The Cellar
, May-June 2021

SKU/Code: 
DB8399-18
Product Line: 
Wine
White
Varietal: 
Chenin Blanc
Farming Type: 
Biodynamic