Grapes are hand-harvested. Grape pickers go through the vines several times over the harvest period. The picking period can sometimes stretch over a period of a couple of months, to enable the bunches to be picked only when they are ripe. Wine is then aged in 500L barrels for a year. This is an iconic wine from an iconic producer. It will reward you for years and years to come. A truly special wine from a truly special producer. Only 120 bottles in the UK
From 2016 onward these wines are no longer classified under the "Savennières" appellation. "Coulée de Serrant" became its own appellation.
Notes on the Producer
Coulée de Serrant was planted in the 12th Century by Cistercian monks and has remained in vine ever since; as has the old monastery which still stands today. The wealth of history oozes from this special place lying next to the fortress Roche-au-Moines, a site of a key battle in the Anglo-French War of 1214. At this point, the domain was already celebrating its 84th vintage. Coulée de Serrant has always been considered a rare, unique wine consumed at the royal court by Louis XI and Louis XIV.
Louis XI is said to have nicknamed it 'a drop of gold' and Empress Josephine 'loved' the wine according to Dr Maisonneuve & Monseigneur le Vin. Famous French writers such as Alexandre Dumas, Maurice Constantin Weyer are also known to have been fans of these great wines. Today the estate continues to be known for its outstanding wines but is also known for its current custodians - Nicolas Joly - the godfather of biodynamics and his daughter Virginie.
The Joly family-run the 7-hectare estate which is cultivated by hand and by horse overlooking the Loire river. Every aspect of production is considered and natural. Manure comes from a herd of ten Nantais cows, a race threatened with extinction in 1985. They have been raised on the estate and are fed local natural produce only. In turn, they provide the land with vital fertiliser needed for the biodynamic preparations. During winter Ouessant sheep graze the vines like real gardeners. Snails are removed using chickens, and the minimal amount of ploughing that takes place is done using horses. Herbicides have not been used here for decades, and medicinal plants such as yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle, oak, dandelion and valerian are used as homoeopathic remedies instead of harmful chemicals.
Coulée de Serrant is among the very few single vineyards monopole to be granted its own AOC; others include Romanée-Conti, La Tâche, and Château-Grillet. On average the vines are 35 to 40 years old, grown on steep south/southeast facing slopes overlooking the Loire River. Only a small yield is harvested, allowing for a high level of concentration that expresses the terroir's rich minerality, with its soils of schist, quartz and flint. The grapes are harvested in three to five parcels over three to four weeks to ensure that they are of the correct level of maturity. These exceptional wines improve after being opened, with their flavours intensifying over time.