Guide to the Loire regions

Val du Loir

Producer profiles - Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir

Christine de Mianville (2005)

Prior to our meeting, I had been informed that Christine de Mianville’s vineyards were more like ‘a large garden’. This might be a little unkind, but in essence she is a small vigneronne, in more ways than one. Christine was born in Quebec and comes to the Loir via the Languedoc-Roussillon where her husband worked as a viticultural consultant. They moved to Varrains, a commune in Saumur-Champigny, and she took a position teaching in the Lycée Viticole in nearby Montreuil-Bellay. She wanted to make wine and Chenin specifically, but loved the day job too, and managed to negotiate an agreement with herself that would satisfy both passions. It might have been easier to stay local, but instead she has been renting half a hectare of twenty year old Chenin in Jasnières from Michel Boulay since 2005. 

Wine Overview:
The half hectare is divided into two parcels, almost at the two extremes of the appellation. Chant de Vigne is just 30 ares and is situated at the western edge where the soil is made up of more Sénonian silex and clay, whilst the 20 ares of les Côtières, which is within Sous-le-Bois to the east, has more red-ocre sandy clay and less stones. Both sites share the tufa subsoil. The cellar is situated in Salvert, a hamlet of Lhomme and at the foot of the slopes. Everything is harvested by hand (obvious, I guess, given the vineyard area), when the berries are golden; Christine is not looking to make sweeter styles, as she believes in her own mind that Jasnières is an appellation for dry wines. After pressing, the juice goes directly to barrel where it remains for between 12 and 18 months.

The Wines:
The obvious observation about the wines is that they show a good expression of vintage character. They conform to what the wines should taste like - based on my own impression of the year. Given that the 2007 tasted here was only her third harvest, the ability to express the character of the vintage at this stage of her winemaking career is probably as much as one can ask. These are good wines, and worth seeking out. Small volumes means the prices are quite high, but this has to be seen in context of an appellation where value is still relative.

2006 Jasnières ‘Chant de Vigne’
Polished. Quite deep orange/gold appearance. Distinctly oxidative nose, but clean, complex and attractive. Rich with aromas and flavours of honey, quince and toffee. Rich but dry on entry. Well textured. Mineral with chalky undertones. Very good structure and length. Approachable now, although has the potential to go the distance. Lovely. (12/08)

2007 Jasnières ‘Chant de Vigne’
Light appearance. Green hints. Dry and more classic and mineral nose. Racy and pure on entry. Apples and pear skin. Bone dry on entry with lovely texture. Flavours of hazelnuts. Autolytic. Very pure, although quite high toned. Chalky texture and a dry finish. Drinkable on release, but will age. Classic. (12/08)

2006 Jasnières ‘Le Côtières’
Rich. Deep appearance. Riper and distinctly oxidative hints on the nose. Evidence of the riper year. Nutty and spicy, with aromas of honey and quince. Rich on entry. Dry. Builds well with very good structure, concentration and weight. More evidence of leesy, nutty, autolytic flavours on the palate. Quite high toned and in a distinct oxidative style. Drinking well now, but will age. Good. (12/08)

2005 Jasnières ‘Le Côtières’
Polished. Deep, straw/gold. Very pure and attractive, but slightly more old fashioned Chenin nose. Distinctive. Green apples and toffee apple, hazelnuts and quince like flavours. Very delicate and complex and more like a classic Vouvray. Filigree texture. Very good. (12/08)

Christine de Mianville
Chemin de la Sarpette
Lhomme
T: + 33 2 41 52 91 62 (domicile)
demainville@voila.fr


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