Savennières Vendanges Le Grand Gel
100% Chenin Blanc. The "Vendanges" or "Harvest" 2017 is a one-off bottling, the result of a vintage of nearly complete destruction by frost in the spring (hence the Le Grand Gel moniker on the label). Instead of bottling the normal estate trio of sites--Jalousie, Caiillardières and Clos du Papillon--Closel had to combine what litttle fruit could be harvested into this wine. A grand total of three 400-liter barrels was the result. So the vines range from 20 to 70 years old, all on variations of sandy, schistous soils, from sites with varied slope and aspect; as ever, they were farmed biodynamically and harvested by hand. The 2017 harvest was quick and early, in order to avoid further complications, so there is virtually zero botrytis to speak of (there is normally some in both Caillardières and Papillon). The fruit was directly pressed in whole clusters, fermented to almost total dryness (1.3 grams RS with 5.1 grams acidity) with native yeasts in tank, did not go through malo and aged on its fine lees in used 400-liter barrels for a year, followed by 6 months in vat.