100% Pinot Noir from 30 year old vines planted on ideal clay-limestone soils. The grapes are all harvested by hand and yields are kept to 45hl/ha. At the winery, one-third of the fruit is destemmed. Cuvaison lasts 15-20 days with regular pumping over (remontage) and pushing down of the skins (pigeage) in order to attain the highest level of extraction possible in the vintage, both for color and flavor. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation take place (as in Burgundy) in oak casks, with only native yeasts. The Rouge Classique is aged for 6 months in 225 liter oak casks that are between 3 and 5 years old. The wine is bottled late Spring and aged for 6 more months in bottle before release. Approximately 2000 cases are produced each year. This cuvéee offers expressive, fresh, very Loire valley aromas and flavors of raspberries and dark cherries, making it a versatile red wine that benefits from a slight chill when served.
About the Producer
The Clement have been wine-growers in Menetou-Salon, a quaint country village about 20 minutes southwest of Sancerre, since 1560 (16 generations). Isabelle and Pierre Clément, now joined by their daughter Anne, own 70 hectares of the finest, southwest exposed hillside vineyards in the appellation - shared by around 25 producers. The production is 80% white wine from Sauvignon Blanc and 20% red, from Pinot Noir. While Menetou-Salon is on the same side of the Loire River as its more famous neighbor Sancerre, it has the same fossil-rich Kimmeridgian limestone-clay soils that are prevalent in Chablis. These Kimmeridgian soils impart the distinctly complex, aromatic and elegant personality to Clément’s wines. The total production is around 600,000 bottles per year.
Farming/vinification practices: starting Spring 2020, the Clements have begun the transition to organic certification, expected in 2023. The only change, however, in their practice for now will be the use of copper and sulfur-based vine treatments when necessary. The Clements have worked their soils mechanically for many years. Grass is left to grow between the rows to protect against rot (it absorbs moisture). Only indigenous yeasts are used. All the tanks are temperature-controlled through a central computer that can be accessed remotely. The wines are vegan.
Isabelle et Pierre Clément