Guide to the Loire regions

Val du Loir

Producer profiles - Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir

Cave de la Radière

The use of the cellar name rather hides the fact that the wines produced by this father and son team are actually commercialised under their own names; Bernard and Christophe Croisard. Bernard joined his father in 1970, and fourth generation Christophe arrived here in 1996 and has been, for the past two years, the president of the local growers’ syndicate. The wines are made in the same cellar, a purpose built facility in front of the old tufa caves. They divide the parcels equally between themselves but there are no duplications with the names of the cuvées. This is not simply a case of the same wine being bottled and sold with two different labels.

Wine Overview :
This, in the context of the region, is a large domaine, and they have no agricultural interests other than the production of wine. There are a total of twenty hectares, although seven are rented from old, retired vignerons or their heirs who want the emotional tie of owning a vineyard but without the commitment. The rented parcels are all in the Coteaux du Loir appellation, which is where most of their production lies. Here they have significant holdings of Chenin (9ha), including parcels in two of the finest sites for the Coteaux du Loir: Rasné and the neighbouring Le Présidal. They also own two hectares in Le Clos des Molières in Jasnières. In addition to seven hectares of Pineau d’Aunis there is also a hectare each of Gamay and Côt which go to make Vin de Pays. Three quarters of the vines are harvested by machine, but where the slopes are too steep for Chenin they harvest by hand. They also have one parcel of 100 year old Pineau d’Aunis which is still trained to gobelet and has to be picked by hand. They don’t set out to make sweeter style wines, but the function of more recent harvests has forced this decision upon them.

In the cellar, they use fibre glass extensively, but not in isolation, and they remain one of the traditional growers still to raise some wine in chestnut. The barrels are very old, some being used by three consecutive generations of Croisard’s.

The Wines :
As one would expect from a traditional producer such as this, the wines are a little old fashioned and are also not very flattering in their youth. They tend to close up quickly and hide their possible charms. They are competent rather than great, but are honest and true to their origins. 

Christophe Croisard

2007 Jasnières ‘Clos des Molières’
Raised in fibre glass. Polished. Pale with distinct green hints. Clean and traditional Chenin nose. Restrained green apple. A little bit grubby and old fashioned. Well balanced with good acidity and more flavours of green apple. Tight at present and not very expressive. Needs time. Decent. (12/08)

2006 Jasnières
Raised in fibre glass. Polished. Pale green. Richer and riper on the nose with more evolution, although still restrained. Clean on the palate with good structure and length. Delicate style. Good length with some apple flavours and a light finish. Approachable now, but will keep a few years. (12/08)

2007 Jasnières
Polished. Mid depth yellow. Broader nose and shows ripeness. Open and delicate with baked apple and quince aromas. Ripe on entry with very good structure. Broad flavours of apples and pears. Typical high malic acidity to the finish. Juicy and persistent. Approachable, but will age further. (12/08)

2007 Coteaux du Loir Blanc ‘Rasné
Polished. Pale straw. Clean but neutral nose. Broad on entry, but also closed at present. There is an apple skin flavour and texture and very good structure but giving nothing away at this stage. Distinctive, with a fine thread of acidity on the finish. A hint of residual sugar on the finish. Needs time. (12/08)

2006 Coteaux du Loir Blanc ‘Rasné
Polished appearance. Slightly deeper yellow/straw. Closed on the nose, but shows some richness. The palate is more expressive and is drier than the 2007. Green apple flavours and more tannic and chalky with grip. Well structured. Mid length. Approachable now, but will age. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Loir Blanc ‘Rasné
Polished. Pale straw/green. Still quite closed on the nose. Some apples and quince and maybe a little smoky. Ripe on entry, but still backward. There is distinct residual sugar here (30g/l). Delicate and very good balance with flavours of baked apples. The (14%) alcohol shows a little on the finish. Very good potential, but needs time to evolve and the alcohol to integrate. (12/08)

2003 Coteaux du Loir Blanc ‘Rasné
Polished. Deep appearance with yellow/gold hints. Broad and a traditional Chenin nose. A touch rustic and grubby. Less pure. There is some evolution of secondary flavours here. Rich on entry and quite broad. The acidity is noticeably lower. Very rich and concentrated although lacks freshness. Spiced apple flavours to finish. Falls a bit short due to the lack of acidity. I question whether it can age. Drinking now. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Loir Blanc ‘Présidal’
Polished. Mid depth yellow/straw. Closed nose. Typical backward Chenin. Delicate on the palate, but a bit rustic and earthy. Broad and ripe and the palate is more open than the nose suggests. The palate is a touch dry (this was aged in chestnut) and the residual sugar shows a little. Decent balance. Mid length. Rich, but falls a little short. (12/08)

Bernard Croisard

2007 Coteaux du Loir Rosé
From 100% Pineau d’Aunis. Polished, deep salmon pink. Good minerality to the nose, with ripe and spicy pepper aromas. Rich on entry. Carries around 8g/l residual sugar which helps to flatter and balance it out. Very good. Drinking now. (12/08)

2006 Jasnières
Fermented and raised in chestnut for 12 months. Polished. Deep appearance. Yellow. Broad nose of baked apple and pears. Distinctive and attractive. Delicate and complex on the palate with very good structure on entry. Broad, with good concentration and nicely textured. Flavours of apples and pears. Juicy and spicy. It does show a dryness on the finish with some phenolics. Chalky texture. Approachable now. Traditional style but will evolve well. (12/08)

2003 Coteaux du Loir Blanc ‘Vigne du Pressoir’
Polished. Mid-pale. Green hints. Closed nose. Clean but showing very little. There is a hint of wood here. Broad and more expressive on the palate and the ripeness shows. Baked apples. Well textured. Open now. Good balance, but just lacks a little freshness in the acidity. Very good Chenin character with obvious residual sugar. The alcohol shows a little on the finish and is a touch phenolic. Good length. It should age further. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Loir Rouge
100% Pineau d’Aunis. Mid depth. Ruby red. Youthful to rim. The wood shows on the nose giving it a savoury edge. Ripe, but not confit. Some spice, but beyond pepper on the nose. Tight on the palate and quite tannic. Needs time to settle. Very good balance and structure. Still a little young. Good potential. (12/08)

2004 Coteaux du Loir Rouge ‘Vieilles Vignes’
Bright. Pale, youthful ruby. Broad and ripe on the nose. A bit hot. Mid weight palate. It tastes a little volatile and lacks structure and definition in its varietal character. Tight and tannic on the palate. A bit over extracted. Unlikely to soften. (12/08)

Bernard Croisard & Christophe Croisard
Cave de la Radière
La Pommeraie
Chahaignes
T: + 33 2 43 44 47 12
F: + 33 2 43 79 14 90

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