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|Appellation/Sub-Region||Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil AOP|
|Vineyard/Cellar Practices||Certified Organic|
Since the late 1950s, Claude Vallée had farmed 12 hectares planted to grapes, asparagus and fruit trees at Domaine de La Cotelleraie. Since taking over the domain in 1997, his son Gerard has expanded their holdings. Now totaling 27 hectares, the domaine is entirely planted to grapes in some of the best terroir in Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil. By 1999 Gerard made the decision to convert his vineyards to organic and employs a large team in order to monitor vine health, preventing the need for synthetic fertilizers and fungicides. And what we see in the bottle is a fantastic expression of Cabernet Franc from the middle Loire.
The winemaking at La Cotelleraie is old-school: crushed berries make their way into wooden vats, where punch downs occur twice a day for about ten days, followed by another 10 to 12 days of maceration. After pressing, alcoholic and malolactic fermentation begins naturally in the wooden vats. The wine rests over winter and is lightly filtered before bottling. In the glass this yields a classic, light/medium bodied red, with flavors of strawberry, raspberry, bell pepper, and cedar. A Parisian bistro wine if there ever was one. Certified organic.