2019 Arnaud Lambert Saumur Breze ‘Clos du Midi’

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Loire Valley, France

From his largest single holding of 3.5 ha of south-east facing vines planted in 1985 on sandy clay over limestone. Vinification using no SO2 in stainless steel tank with indigenous yeast and no malolactic. Bottled in March 2021un-fined, but filtered at bottling. this shows excellent freshness and precision in a pure fruit-forward expression of chenin in its most pure state. Very attractive and approachable right away. This is a rocky and mineral-driven Chenin Blanc laden with notes of citrus, white blossom, and juicy white stone fruit. A seafood risotto or quality sushi would be a perfect partner.

  • Tech Notes

    Varietal / Blend: Chenin Blanc

    Decant: Not necessary

    Closure: Cork

    Farming Practices: Biodynamic

  • Loire Valley, France

    Arnaud Lambert is helping to discover the expression and diversity of soils and individual sites (terroirs) in the appellations of Saumur and Saumur-Champigny. The goal is to give expression to each individual terroir and realise each vineyard sites potential through organic viticulture (transitioning to bio-dynamic) and minimal intervention wine-making. Even though he works a total of 40 ha of vineyards in these 2 villages, the local cooperatives control nearly 70% of the surface area in Brézé and Saint Cyr and mass-produced crémants still dominate the region. 2017 marked an exciting transition for Arnaud’s estate when he united his cuvées from both Brézé (20ha) and Saint Cyr en Bourg (20ha) under one label: Domaine Arnaud Lambert. The Saint Cyr wines come from Domaine Saint-Just, which was founded by Arnaud’s father Yves in 1996 when Arnaud was still getting his viticulture and oenology degree. Arnaud studied wine-making in Dijon and has brought that Burgundian approach to his wine-making and to expressing each vineyard site. The father/son team began working together in 2005, and in 2009, they also became managers of the viticultural estate of the Château de Brézé signing a long-term lease which included land in 8 of the clos of Brézé, very old vineyards, each with different soil compositions and site expositions. (The château is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site, but also an historically important reference in French fine wine: royals used to exchange these wines annually for Château d’Yquem Sauternes.) The same year they began to work the Château vines, Yves and Arnaud also began converting all of their vineyards to organic, and were officially certified organic in 2012. In 2018 Arnaud began converting all vineyards to bio-dynamic viticulture after working in this way for some years. Most significantly Arnaud feels that in the last few vintages he has really found the right balance and expression for the varieties planted in each site after working with these vineyards for 10+ years. There is most certainly a lightness of touch with no hand of the winemaker apparent in the style of the wines, rather a clarity and purity for all the wines that one finds only rarely amongst the very best wine growers. Most of the red wines are vinified with no SO2 and bottled with just the smallest amount to ensure stability. Here terroir speaks very clearly.