Guide to the Loire regions

Côtes d'Auvergne

Grower Profiles


Annie and Marie-Claude Charmensat

Domaine Charmensat
The Charmensats have been making wine in Boudes since 1850, with the gum-chewing Annie representing the fifth generation. A graduate of the Blanquefort viticultural and oenological school, she began working with her mother, Marie-Claude in 1995 after her father, Andre, had retired. Four years later, Annie took overall control of the running of the domaine, which also includes farming 30 hectares of cereals.

The vineyards extend to 8.5 hectares, with all but half a hectare of Chardonnay, planted in 1997, cultivated on the south facing terraces that run along the north of the village. The vines age between 5 and 103 years, with the oldest, a parcel of Gamay d’Auvergne being planted on terraces by her grandfather in 1903 and trellised sur échalas, a single wooden stake as widely seen in Côte Rôtie. The family’s three hectares of Pinot Noir were planted between 1986 and 2004. Everything here is hand harvested and systematically destemmed as it enters the modern cellar, erected in 1992 and extended six years later.  


Vines trained sur échalas

Vinification for the reds is traditional, with the Gamay and Pinot Noir fermented separately. The old vine Gamay is the last to be harvested and also kept apart. Annie makes five different wines, with each of the reds passing through a single 30hl foudre at some point in their evolution.

The Boudes Blanc comes from the low yielding (25hl/ha) Chardonnay and is raised in tank. It is simple and clean, if a little undistinguished. Her Boudes rosé is made from Gamay and includes some old vines. The Boudes Rouge is a blend, and although the proportions change with the vintage, it is normally around 75%/25% Gamay/Pinot Noir. The same wine is used as the base for the Boudes Cuvée d’Autrefois, although this is raised in oak for six months prior to bottling. Finally, the Boudes Cuvée la Centenaire is from the ancient, 103 year old parcel of Gamay which is raised in oak and is best broached after around three years in the bottle.

Annie Charmensat might appear laid back, but is clearly a hard working lady. Not only does she run the vineyards and the cellar, but she controls all her own distribution, and her wines can be found on some of the best tables of Clermont-Ferrand. 

Annie Charmensat
Rue du Coufin
Boudes
T: + 33 4 73 96 44 75
F: + 33 4 73 96 58 04
P: + 33 6 70 84 11 86
charmensat@freesurf.fr

 

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