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Domaine Huards

Domaine Huards Cour-Cheverny Francois 1er 2017


no added sulfur

Country: France

Region: Loire

Type: White Wine

Grape: Romorantin

Domaine des Huards has been in the Gendrier family since 1846. In the 1950s, the family farmed 10 acres of vines, mostly Romorantin. In the 1960s, more parcels were planted as their focus on the domaine’s viticulture increased significantly. In the 1970s, Michael, the seventh-generation Gendrier, quit using chemicals in the vines and moved in an organic and then biodynamic direction, receiving certification in 1998. His son Alex grew up with biodynamics and is now full time at the domaine with Michael, helping to manage its 104 acres of vines (along with 91 acres of forest and fields, plus a herd of sheep which you see below in the vineyard after the harvest). 

The domaine is in Cheverny, an appellation of close to 1,600 acres in eastern Touraine, about a third of the way from Tours to Sancerre. It’s also in the tiny appellation of Cour-Cheverny, which currently has a vineyard surface of a mere 130+ acres dedicated solely to the rare Romorantin (Chevnery, the sister and overlapping appellation, is reserved for a range of other Loire varieties). All of Huards’ vines are within 850 meters of the winery, meaning that the grapes arrive to the press freshly hand-harvested. Ferments are spontaneous, stainless steel is preferred, and the only addition to the wine is a small amount of sulfur. There’s no fining and only a light filtration at bottling.

This cuvée comes from the oldest vines of the estate. The wine is raised in tank on its fine lees and bottled in the spring following harvest, usually before malolactic has a chance to take place. The sometimes sharp acidity specific to Romorantin is perfectly balanced here by the fat and fullness of the wine on the palate. The fruit has notes of apple, quince, yellow plum and hints of citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit), coated with honey and lactic notes. Bracing, lifted, long, and altogether distinctive.