Guide to the Loire regions

Val du Loir

Producer Profiles – Coteaux du Vendômois

Les Vignerons du Vendômois (1929)


The co-operative, which was founded in 1929, has twenty growers who deliver their grapes for wines to be sold as Coteaux du Vendômois. At present, the AC wines account for 68 hectares of vineyards, about half of the appellation’s production. In addition, there are a further 35 members who supply another 100 hectares worth of grapes which are classified as departmental Vin de Pays. As one would expect, there is a full representation of the different grape varieties permitted in the region vinified in the cellar; Chardonnay (9ha), Pinot Blanc (2.15ha) Sauvignon Blanc (5ha) along with Côt, Grolleau and Gamay for the Vin de Pays and Chenin (12ha) and Pineau d’Aunis for the appellation. The main focus of the cellar in the past decade has been to increase the awareness and demand for gris, and of the 68 hectares of appellation wines produced, 33 hectares are Pineau d’Aunis delivered for this purpose.

Plantings for the AC wines tend to come from the communes within easy reach of the cellar in Villiers-sur-Loir, namely Villiers itself, Naveil, Lunay, Mazangé and the Pente de Coutis overlooking Vendôme. 

Wine Overview :
It would be fair to say that high crops and poor winemaking practices to satisfy the en-vrac market ensured that the reputation of the co-operative in the past has not been a good one. With the arrival, however of the young Nicolas Parmentier who came straight from agricultural college in Angers in 2003, has seen a new quality remit enforced on the growers. In the mid 1990s, some 90% of all the wines produced here were sold en-vrac, either to private clients or to the négoce. Although cellar door sales to private clients still account for an impressive 70% of everything sold, the trend has been towards selling more wine in bottle. With the quality remit, Parmentier has been searching out specific lieu-dits and a series of site specific wines have begun to appear; ‘Cocagne’ with its silex soils in Lunay has been separated out for a single vineyard release of a gris.

The Wines :
As with most co-operatives, it is rare to find something completely outstanding within the range, but the wines from the Cave Co-operative Vendômois are reliable and serve a purpose.

2007 Coteaux du Vendômois Gris
This is the generic version. By the time you read this the 2008 vintage will already be available: it was being bottled in the first week of December. Light, salmon pink appearance. Clean and fresh on the nose with good primary fruit. Delicate and quite mineral in style with some faint pepper behind. Short and simple on the palate and pretty undistinguished, but well balanced and a good commercial style. (12/08)

2007 Coteaux du Vendômois Gris ‘Cocagne’
From a single site on a sloping vineyard on silex soils in Lunay. The vines here were planted in the early 1990s. Salmon pink appearance. More concentration on the nose. Closed, but quite mineral behind. Distinct white pepper on the palate and more structured and serious. Very fresh and clean with good weight and mouth feel and a persistent mineral finish. Very good and worth the small price premium asked. (12/08)

2006 Coteaux du Vendômois Blanc ‘Chant Grives’
This is a sec tendre with 26g/l residual sugar. Pale straw appearance. Light and delicate. Quite closed and not very expressive. Mid weight entry. Clean and fresh. Simple and still quite primary. A bit too sweet and sour in character. Not particularly well knit. Drink now. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Vendômois Blanc ‘Montgreffier’
Named after a lieu-dit in Naveil. Vinified moëlleux and retains 45g/l residual sugar and produced in certain vintages only – 1996, 1997, 2003 and this 2005. Polished. Mid-deep, yellow-gold. Attractive nose. Very clean and fresh. Well balanced on the palate, with delicate flavours of peaches and pears. Very soft with good structure. Faint asparagus flavours on the finish and a crunchy, squeaky clean acidity. Good. Drinking well now. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Vendômois Blanc ‘Saint-Hilaire’
Another moëlleux with 50 g/l residual sugar from a different lieu-dit located in Villiers-sur-Loir. One third was raised in barriques. Polished, yellow-gold. Mid depth. Attractive rounded nose and a good Chenin expression. Nose like a vin de paille with hot strawberry jam. Retains light and delicate flavours. Well rounded with good acidity to match. Good now, but should keep. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge
A blend of one third each of Pineau d’Aunis, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. Fermented in stainless steel and cement. Mid depth appearance. Good graduation to rim. Mature nose, quite ripe and rounded. It shows some Pineau d’Aunis character to the palate, but otherwise quite simple and tannic. Decent, but falls a bit short. Dry on the finish and lacks some flesh. Drink now. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge ‘Cuvée Prestige’
A blend of 60% Pineau d’Aunis with Cabernet Franc. Dense centre, light and youthful to rim. Broad nose and spicy. Red fruit and cherries to the nose. Quite a pure red fruit expression. Generous on entry with good weight. Well focused. Still quite firm, but these are ripe tannins. Approachable, but should age further. (12/08)

Les Vignerons du Vendômois
Nicolas Parmentier
60 Avenue du Petit-Thouars
Villiers-sur-Loir
T: + 33 2 54 72 90 69
F: + 33 2 54 72 75 09
caveduvendomois@wanadoo.fr

 

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