Coteaux-du-Loir "L'Effraie"


100% Chenin Blanc. L`Effraie or "the owl”--in reference to local vineyard inhabitants--is a Coteaux du Loir sourced from Bellivière's "younger" non-Jasnières vines, which by their definition effectively means anything under 50 years old, some of them as young as 10 years old.  The collective yield is a modest 35 hl/ha. The parcels are scattered and generally on flinty, clay-limestone soils rich in tuffeau (soft limestone). 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.

92 points
"The Nicolas family’s L’Effraie bottling is for their “younger” chenin vines, which are fifty years of age or younger! The vines are farmed biodynamically, the wine is barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in casks, one quarter of which are new. The 2019 version comes in at fourteen percent octane and offers up a beautifully pure and detailed bouquet of sweet quince, tangerine, a touch of fresh pineapple, citrus zest, a beautiful base of flinty soil tones and a deft framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a good core of ripe fruit, lovely soil signature, bright acids and very good length and grip on the well-balanced finish that closes with a lovely touch of citrus peel. Fine juice. 2021-2040+. "
John Gilman,
View From The Cellar
, May-June 2021
93 points
"Eric Nicolas's 2019 Coteaux du Loir L'Effraie is from 10- to 30-year-old vines on silex clay soils topping the tuff bedrock. Aged on the lees for 10 months and bottled in October last year, this pure Chenin opens with a delicate, fresh and flinty bouquet of perfectly ripe and healthy, chalky-scented fruits. Fascinating. Silky and very elegant on the palate, this full-bodied but delicate and finessed wine reveals intense tropical fruit with a gentle sur lie texture and ripe, elegant acidity. The finish is warm and powerful yet also salty, fresh and clear, which takes a bit of the warmth of this wine that comes in with 14% alcohol and just 1.5 grams per liter of residual sugar. Stimulatingly salty and piquant on the finish. Try with Saint Jacques or Saint-Nectaire cheese! Tasted in May 2021."
Stephan Reinhardt,
Wine Advocate
, August 2021

Product Line: 
Chenin Blanc
Farming Type: