Guide to the Loire regions

Val du Loir

Producer profiles - Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir

Renaud Guettier (2004)

Renaud Guettier

Renaud Guettier comes across as a very serious young man. He is a native of Vendôme and studied at agricultural college in Dijon, which is where he developed his love of wine. The decision to make wine in the Coteaux du Loir was a function of his wife’s family having a farm outside Bueil-en-Touraine, one of the 22 villages included within the appellation. The estate was offered to them on condition they would also take charge of the 86 hectares of cereals and the cattle that they raise for market. In order to gain some winemaking experience, he worked with Eric Nicolas for six months during 2004.

Wine Overview:
They started the venture in 2004, but the farm came with no vines, so one hectare was bought and a further four hectares were leased from four small ancien paysan farmers across seventeen parcels in four different communes; Bueil-en-Touraine, Dissay, Saint-Pierre and Epigné. With the exception of some particuliers who vinify for domestic consumption, Guettier is the only grower based in the Indre-et-Loire département. To date he has 2.20 hectares of Chenin and 2.00 hectares of Pineau d’Aunis and a token amount of Grolleau, Côt and Gamay. Everything is farmed to organic principles and all is harvested by hand. Yields are tiny; 25 hl/ha, a function of the old vines.

The cellar is apart from the farm and is in a cave a few kilometres away. All the wines are raised in old François Frères barrels. There are two different cuvées of white, Le Pressoir de Saint Pierre (which is sourced primarily from the village of the same name) for the sec, and Druillas for the demi-sec, along with the occasional release of Dorrées, a moëlleux. There are also two different bottlings of red: Adonis is the basic cuvée for the Coteaux du Loir, and a second Le Gravot, named after the confluence of the rivers Long and Escolias just before they join the Loir , is a blend of Gamay, Côt, Grolleau and Pineau d’Aunis. 

The Wines:
A grower to watch, although my initial thoughts are that both he and his wines will need time to find their respective ways, and his wines are going to need bottle ageing. The wines below are all from the 2005 vintage when it was hard to go wrong, but they are very individual and won’t be to everyone’s liking. I did taste the 2006s but he has elected for various reasons, most legal, to declassify to Vin de Table. At this stage I felt they were less successful and so I am reserving judgment on these.

2005 Coteaux du Loir Blanc ‘Druillas’
Deep orange/bronze. Not bright (unfiltered). Oxidative style with a dry, orange rind like nose. Concentrated, and not dissimilar to an old style white Rioja. The palate is also oxidative, but shows greater minerality and is serious and concentrated. Good potential. Individual. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Loir Blanc ‘Dorrées’
Dark orange appearance. The nose is ripe and tropical with hints of tangerine. Austere to the palate. Taut and mineral with an intense, chalky finish. Good potential, but still unknit. Again, a very individual style. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Loir Rouge ‘Adonis’
From 100% Pineau d’Aunis. Bright. Mid-depth and youthful appearance. Tight, mineral nose. Taut, with juicy flesh on the palate. Light bodied, with the length carried by the acidity. Flavours of bitter cherries. Soft and supple tannins. Very good length. Drinking now, but would benefit with ageing. Cedarwood and spice to the finish. (12/08)

La Grapperie
Renaud Guettier
La Soudairie
T: + 33 2 47 24 48 06  

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