Guide to the Loire regions


Grower Profiles

Laure Dozon

Domaine Dozon
Laure Dozon represents one of the very few vigneronnes to be found in the Chinon appellation after electing to join her father, Jean-Marie, in 1999 following her none-viticultural studies in Montreuil-Bellay. Laure represents the third generation to have made wine on the farm; her grandfather first planting vineyards here after World War II, although the Dozons have been on the site for at least the past five generations. The cellar itself was once a grange used for the raising of animals and for winter storage of cereal crops. 

There are a total of 23 hectares of vines, 14ha of which are under the ownership of the family, with a further nine hectares rented from two different proprietors, one of which is a cousin to Jean-Marie. All are located within the commune of Ligré and essentially spilt over two parcels. 
Le Clos du Saute-aux-Loups was classified as a 1er Cru vignoble in the Annuaire de Marques et Appellations d’Origine handbook published during the 1940s and accounts for 12 hectares of vines planted on argile-siliceux soils. There are two possible origins for the name; a spring from which the wolves drank or from the word saltus; Latin, meaning to leap or jump. A second vineyard, Le Bois Joubert is a 2.77 hectare parcel of clay over limestone.

All are planted to Cabernet Franc, with the exception of two small parcels of hand-harvested Chenin established in the late 1990s and accounts for a combined 0.50ha of vines. 

Until 1999 and the arrival of Laure, the wines were aged in a succession of old oak barrels and tanks, although she and her father have now adopted cement and stainless steel tanks for all but one of the wines that they produce. 

Laure vinifies a single 80hl tank of rosé each year, using a combined technique of pressurage direct (around 70%) and saignée. This represents between 7-10% of the domaines total production depending, of course, on the vintage. The Chinon Blanc is raised in tank with any complexity derived from a batonnage of the lees prior to the wine being bottled (without malo-lactic fermentation) in the spring following the vintage. There are a total of four red Chinon's produced. The first, Rouge Plaisir is from younger vines of between 10 and 15 years old from a selection of parcels. The wine receives a short maceration (the same period as the fermentation) and is bottled in the spring following the harvest. The Clos du Saut au Loup comes from the 13 hectares on the limestone slope with the same name; the vine age averaging around 40 years. The wine is raised in tank for around 12 months prior to bottling. Le Bois Joubert is also from the parcel which shares the same name and comes from 40 year old vines. It too is raised in tank although the élevage is slightly longre at 14 months. The wonderfully titled Laure et le Loup was created to benefit from the three hectares of vines planted by Paul Dozon in the late 1940s. It too is raised in tank for a total of 16 months. L'Exception is the obligatory oak aged wine, raised in older barrels that were first purchased in 2000 where it rests for 14 months. 

My experience of Laure and her wines spans the vintages between 2007 and 2009. The 2009s are as one would expect of a great vintage and these are worthy examples of Chinon. The 2007s are more difficult and edgy. The Chinon blanc is simple and clean, but little more whilst the barrel-aged L'exception appears to carry its wood well. With regards the other red wines, they are worth searching out, although distribution doesn't extend much further than France. Laure deserves a place within the top dozen (or should that be Dozon?) producers of the appellation. 

Laure & Jean-Marie Dozon
Domaine Dozon
Le Rouilly

T: + 33 2 47 93 17 67
F: + 33 2 47 93 95 93

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