Savennières Vendanges Le Grand Gel

2017
France
Loire

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.

 

92 points
"Straw yellow. Aromas and flavors of pineapple, golden apple, white pepper, and lanolin. Racy acidity and a spicy, peppery finish. Rambunctious and still perhaps a little young and developing. Will be interesting to look in on this in two years or so. Only 1700 bottles (three 400-liter barrels) produced – the entire vintage following the terrible frost of spring 2017, even though this includes second generation fruit from shoots that grew after the frost."
Jason Wilson,
Vinous Media
, July 2020
90 points
"100% of the vineyard was struck by frost. With a yield down to 0.9 hl / ha, only 1,700 bottles were produced for the whole estate. All the wine made was blended to produce this special bottling. Appley aromas, along with some pear. Has a menthol and iodine-infused freshness, leaving an overall impression of a mix of a vintage style prior to 2015 and post-2015. Quite a lovely wine for such a troublesome context. Drinking Window 2023 - 2030"
Yohan Castaing,
Decanter
, February 2020
92 points
"A gorgeous white, featuring notes of beeswax and orange peel that frame the core of quince, lemon oil and persimmon flavors. Quite intense, with powerful acidity plowing through, imparting focus. Paraffin hints emerge on the finish. Needs a bit more time to integrate fully. Best from 2023 through 2033. 30 cases imported."
Alecks Zecevic,
Wine Spectator
, May 2020

SKU/Code: 
DB2051-17
Product Line: 
Wine
White
Varietal: 
Chenin Blanc
Farming Type: 
Biodynamic