to the Loire regions
Profiles – Coteaux du Vendômois
Vignerons du Vendômois (1929)
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.
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.
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.
The Wines :
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
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)
2007 Coteaux du Vendômois Gris ‘Cocagne’
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)
2006 Coteaux du Vendômois Blanc ‘Chant Grives’
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 ‘Montgreffier’
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.
2005 Coteaux du Vendômois Blanc ‘Saint-Hilaire’
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
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.
2005 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge ‘Cuvée Prestige’
Les Vignerons du Vendômois
60 Avenue du Petit-Thouars
T: + 33 2 54 72 90 69
F: + 33 2 54 72 75 09