Nicolas Joly, Château de la Roche-aux-Moines  (1962)

These vineyard holdings are without question the most privileged within the appellation. In Burgundian terms, it is the equivalent to owning the monopoly on Montrachet as well as a fair tranche of Chevalier-Montrachet. The present Château dates back to 1839 and was designed by architect Edouard Moll (who was also responsible also for designing the Château de la Bizolière). It is a substantial classical residence and sits on top the southern most limit of La Roche aux Moines. The summit to the rear of the house reveals a 300 metre alley of cypress trees which runs parallel to the river. At the end of this lies the stone tomb of an English soldier: a legacy of the battle fought here in 1214.

The property was owned by successive generations of the Walsh de Serrant family during the late 18th and early 19th century. In 1830 the ownership passed through marriage to the Duc de la Trémoïlle where it remained until 1894, when, threatened with the cost of having to replant the whole vineyard after phylloxera, the Trémoïlles decided to sell up. During the first half of the 20th century Le Château de la Roche aux Moines experienced several owners. Immediately after the scourge of phylloxera epidemic it belonged to a M. Colin of Angers and his relative, M. Rousseau-Colin of Saint Florent le Veil, who appeared to have done little with the land. It was left to Laurent Bougère, who bought the property in 1905 for a derisory 50,000 French Francs, and set about re-establishing the vineyards during the 1920s. The property in turn passed to Colonel Cothereau, a relative of Bougère. It was upon Cothereau’s death in 1960 that his widow sold to M. De Craecker, a retired Belgian ship captain, who bought the property not so much for the vineyards, but for the view. In 1958, De Craecker had already acquired a significant portion of land in La Roche aux Moines, although he appears to have had little or no interest in realising its viticultural potential.

The Jolys were to follow, having bought the property in 1962. André Joly was originally from Le Lude and practiced as a surgeon in Angers. He and his wife, Denise, were looking for a property to retire to, and according to Nicolas Joly himself, there is a photograph of his parents taken in front of the house well before it was purchased. André had approached De Craecker to see if he was interested in selling. He was not, although a little while later after a family feud, he contacted Dr Joly and asked him to make him an offer, which he accepted. At the time of purchase, the Jolys had no idea they had just acquired one of the most renowned vineyards in France, so it was by chance that Denise Joly became a vigneron. Fortunately, one of her close friends was Mme Fournier, owner of Château Canon, in Saint-Emilion, so advice on all things viticultural was readily available. Now in her early 90s, the once formidable Madame Joly still lives in the house she fell in love with almost fifty years ago.

The Jolys had two sons: the elder, Eric, is a published author and journalist specialising in all things hunting, shooting and fishing, whilst his younger brother, Nicolas has an MBA diploma from Columbia University. He spent two years working for bankers JP Morgan Guaranty in Canada and then New York, as an analyst to the chemical industry, followed by a further year in London. Disillusioned with banking, the then 32 year old Nicolas, returned to the family domaine in 1977 to take over from his mother, who by now had been widowed. For two years, Nicolas followed an oenological course at Bordeaux University, but it was his discovery of a work by Austrian philosopher, Rudolf Steiner in a bookstore in 1981 and the domaine's subsequent conversion to biodynamic farming that has become a story well told (mostly by Joly himself). Today, he spends much of his time travelling the world, often with his wife, Corale, the daughter of a German diplomat, and their daughter, Virginie, preaching the biodynamic gospel.

Wine Overview:
The vineyards here have been fully certified biodynamic since 1985. As it stands, there are now three different wines produced here; a generic Savennières which currently goes under the name of ‘Les Vieux Clos’ (it was previously called ‘Bécherelle’ after a steep slope planted in 1985). This is from four parcels owned by the Jolys along with a component of vines rented from Rochepin. Two of these parcels sit on top of the plateau of Epiré, directly behind the wall of the Le Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, whilst the largest parcel is situated on the far side of the main Savennières to Epiré road. The average vine age here is between 20 and 25 years old and yield between 30-33 hl/ha, producing around 13,000 bottles a year. The Roche aux Moines cuvée is sold under the ‘Clos de la Bergerie’ label and accounts for 3.5 hectares planted over three different parcels. The vines are a little older on average, at around 25-30 years old, with a yield of between 25-28 hl/ha, producing around 7,000 bottles a year. The seven hectare Le Clos de la Coulee de Serrant is split between three parcels, with the oldest vines having been planted by Laurent Bougère in the 1920s. The production is around 18,000 bottles a year. Previously, there was an Anjou Rouge, sold under the label of ‘Château de la Roche’, produced solely from Cabernet Franc vines planted in La Roche aux Moines. This was last commercialised in 1990.

The cellar is situated below the Château itself. All the wines are fermented and raised in barrels which range in size from 400 to 600 litres, and age between 8 and 15 years old – there have been no new barrels purchased for the last seven vintages. Until the mid 1980s, the wines were raised primarily in chestnut casks, but more recently second hand barriques have come from reliable sources in Bordeaux . The option to switch the wine into stainless steel does exist should fermentation prove protracted; otherwise these tanks are used solely for blending. Fermentation temperatures are not controlled and can be much higher than that which would be considered conventional for white wines, at between 25 and 30 degrees centigrade, and one questions how much this factor affects the overall style and quality. The wines are generally racked three times before being committed to bottle in the May following the vintage. Needless to say, only indigenous yeasts are employed, and as much as Nicolas Joly doesn’t like it, some barrels may go through malolactic fermentation. The wines are neither fined nor cold stabilised, something Joly refers to as the ‘force of death’, and receive only a light filtration prior to bottling. Levels of free sulphur are also minimal at less that 10mg/l.

With every case comes with a leaflet issuing a set of ‘instructions’ for drinking the wine and includes a passage on how to ‘avoid confusing oxidation with maturity’. The leaflet states: ‘Chenin gets its complexity only when it is fully ripe – deep yellow. And only healthy, sustainable farming can guarantee this without rot. For this reason, all our grapes are picked in four or five passes as each parcel begins to raisin and form botrytis – thereby allowing the mineral flavours of Chenin to achieve their fullest intensity. Once opened, wines made this way continue to improve – and are in no way oxidized. Open a few hours in advance or carafe the wine. Serve at 14C / 57F’.  

The Wines
Nicolas Joly’s personal mantra states ‘I don’t only want a good wine but also a true wine’, and there can be no doubting that he is a passionate, confident and persuasive speaker. An ‘audience’ with him is an uplifting experience, although at times he appears to speak in riddles, and getting a straight answer to even the most basic question can be something of a challenge. However questions continue to be posed as to whether Nicolas Joly has completely lost sight of what it is to be a vigneron, only to become infatuated by the wider principles of biodynamics. Does he actually drink wine, or perhaps more importantly, does he enjoy it?

Since the early 1990s there have been justifiable concerns about the oxidative, or (depending on one’s own views) oxidised character found in the wines from the domaine, something that Joly strongly refutes. However, given the position of influence he holds, not just within the appellation, but internationally, clearly there are some serious issues here that need to be addressed.

Any wine lover who has ever had the privilege to taste through a flight of thirty or forty year old wines from Le Clos de la Coulée de Serrant can testify to the wines’ greatness, its ability to age and to display all the characteristics that this distinguished site has to offer. What is depressing is that in no way do the wines produced here over the past fifteen years resemble the great vintages that date from the early 1960s through to the late 1980s; never are they likely to age and evolve into the ethereal examples of their predecessors. For Nicolas Joly these wines might be ‘true’, but sadly neither are they good or capable of demonstrating a real sense of place or the specific characteristics of a specific vintage.

Walking through the vines within Le Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, one can quickly dismiss the notion that any problems that may exist in the wines originate here; the vineyards are as immaculate as one would expect, a proper testament to biodynamic farming. This is not to bring into question the condition and ripeness of the grapes at harvest, however, all clues to what may be going wrong here lead ultimately to the cellar. What Nicolas Joly needs is a winemaker; ideally he needs to employ the services of a Noël Pinguet or a Gérard Gauby, both followers of biodynamic principles, if only for a season, just so this magnificent site can once more be allowed to truly express itself.

Regardless of all the criticism, Joly’s wines appear to sell out with each vintage, and at prices that are consistent with those of Grand Cru Burgundy, the current release being the 2006 and selling for €48.00 a bottle at the domaine. Yet all three cuvées produced here this year exhibit the same particular character; certainly none of these wines is remotely similar to any other vintage produced in the past, and this observation should not imply that what one is detecting is a sense of vintage variation. It’s not.

This leaves us with the question as to who is buying these wines, and do they genuinely believe that they are ‘true wines’ or ‘good wines’, or are they simply good because Nicolas Joly is persuasive and clever enough to convince us that they are? Is there an element of the Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome here? Is it all just mirrors and smoke?

However, it is this final question that is perhaps universally the most disturbing: as biodynamic viticulture’s most vocal proselytizer, does Joly not run the risk of consumers rejecting, along with his own wines, those of every other grower who practices biodynamic farming on the basis that this organic extreme is nothing more than a mythical excuse for producing faulty, or at the very least, mediocre wines? For any wine lover who believes in the sustainability of winegrowing for generations to come, this has to be the single biggest concern.  

2006 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant
Cloudy. Mid-depth yellow/orange. High toned, volatile nose compounded by some notes of oxidation. It is distinctly malic to the point of being reminiscent of cider. The palate is not dissimilar, and although it has the hallmarks of Chenin; apples and pears, it is both aggressive and volatile. There is an edge of minerality, but the wine is simply carried by its acidity. There is also a prickle of CO² to the palate. This is barely vinous.

NOTE: I have now tasted this wine three times between February and April 2008 and I cannot accept it is anything other than faulty as each of the three bottles has shown the same characteristics. I have also taken Joly’s own advice and retasted the third bottle over a period of five days and again after three weeks. My follow up notes are: (Day 5) The colour has deepened considerably since first opening, moving to an orange/bronze appearance. There are distinct signs of oxidation now on the nose, whilst retaining a malic and volatile edge. Dry and austere on entry with a greater sense of minerality, but is also hot and burns on the finish with the same high toned, volatile profile. After three weeks, what was initially the nose of cider or cider apples smells now more like cider vinegar. (04/08)

2006 Savennières – Roche aux Moines ‘Clos de la Bergerie’
This carries the same high toned nose and palate as the Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, confirming that the character of the wines this vintage is not exclusive to the above. This wine was tasted on two separate occasions and from different bottles. There is a strong malic character, like baked apples and calvados with a chalky texture to the palate. It is difficult to get behind the impression of volatility though. (02/08)

2006 ‘Les Vieux Clos’  
Ripe, smoky and baked apple flavour to both the nose and palate. There is a sensation of ‘dry’ botrytis too. This is well textured and shows some authentic Chenin characters, but again appears high toned with volatile elements. It also appears sweeter than the analysis (1.7g/l residual sugar) suggest. This also carries the same flavour profile as the two other wines above. (02/08)

2005 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Bright. Pale yellow/straw with some green hints. Closed on the nose but shows some ripe, broad and oxidative notes. It opens up to show some baked apple aromas. On the palate, there is a good degree of complexity; apples and pears with a sense of minerality. Dry on entry, rich and well textured. Powerful, but the alcohol (15%) starts to show through. This is big and concentrated, but also hot and clumsy with the alcohol dominating. There is an authentic phenolic, bitter Chenin twist to the finish. This is unquestionably oxidative rather than oxidised, but lacks both balance and finesse. (04/08)

2004 ‘Les Vieux Clos’  
Very deep orange/bronze. From appearance alone one would dismiss it as completely oxidised. The nose is not unlike an unfortified white Port; deeply oxidative with some orange peel like aromas. Otherwise, the nose is just dull and blunt. On the palate there is a firm acidity and shows some oxidative characters of the rancio wines of the Midi. Pithy and bitter with the flavour of rotten apples. The alcohol shows on the finish. (04/08)

2004 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Bright. Very deep bronze/orange appearance.
This looks oxidised and is very similar in appearance and profile to ‘Les Vieux Clos’ of the same vintage, suggesting it’s a characteristic within the cellar rather than this specific bottle. The nose is broad and oxidative, bordering on oxidised, with aromas of toffee, caramel and orange skin. The palate is powerful and concentrated with more oxidative, caramel and toffee flavours. The (15%) alcohol shows, but the structure of the wine is dominated by a dry, schist-derived pithy-bitterness to the finish. Not dissimilar to the character of the 2001 vintage. Even if you accept that this wine is not oxidised and therefore not faulty, it is in no way enjoyable, or representative of a Savennières from any other grower. (04/08)

2003 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant
Bright but bitty. Deep yellow/gold/bronze. Broad nose with distinct oxidative notes. Smokey, but otherwise closed and ungiving. Powerful, broad and intense on entry, almost with a sense of oak. Again, the alcohol shows through (14.5%) making it appear clumsy and heavy-handed. The finish is dominated by a phenolic and bitter edge. Very concentrated and lacks any sense of balance. This is at least vinous and acceptable in the fact it does taste like wine.

2002 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Mid-full orange/bronze.
Very oxidative nose; right on the edge of acceptability of most tasters. Behind, there are some signs of how the wine should be, with aromas of cloves, quince and baked or bruised apples and faint toffee apple and tarte tatin. This at least does smell authentic and reminiscent of some older vintages of this wine. From initially showing as heavily oxidative on the palate, the wine (after five days) did appear to redeem itself: Dry on entry with a sense of minerality. Taut and austere but with some flesh and texture. Powerful, with very firm acidity. It builds well, but is again beset with a hot and alcoholic finish (14%). (04/08)

2001 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Bright. Deep, orange/brown. This really does appear oxidised, however, this deep advanced appearance is a characteristic of the wines throughout Savennières from this vintage. The nose is both intense and exaggerated with aromas of clove combined with dried smoked fish and mouldy orange skin. On the palate, it is bone dry, austere, aggressive with unknit acidity and pronounced oxidised characters. This smells and tastes bizarre, but does echo, if exaggerate, the flavour profile of other growers wines in this vintage. It is both phenolic and bitter on the finish with some savoury, saline, cheesy flavours. Vin Santo comes to mind. Whether you can accept this wine is not faulty, it is certainly not an enjoyable experience. (04/08)

2001 Savennières  
Bright. Mid depth orange/gold. This is much paler than the Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, but still relatively deep for a wine of this age. Rich, intense and faintly saline and cheesy. Distinctly savoury and oxidative. Smokey, with the impression of orange peel. Authentic, bone dry and austere, with good concentration and richness. Well textured with a good thread of minerality running through the wine. More flavours of orange peel combined with licorish. It does show some evidence of oxidative handling, but this tastes like it should and shows specific vintage characteristics. This is drinking now, but, if you like the style, this could be expected to age further. It bears no relation to its big sister, above. (08/08)

1999 'Clos Sacré - Le Vieux Clos' Savennières
Polished. Mid-pale yellow-gold. Old fashioned nose that is not unlike the 2001 in character. Faintly savoury and fishy. Dry, austere and mineral on the palate. Lean and lacking flesh with a chalky, schist-like minerality to the finish. This is going nowhere. (04/09)

1999 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Polished. Deep yellow/orange/bronze. Mature, burnt sugar and caramel nose. Aromas include smoke, orange peel, cloves and barley sugar. It’s like a miniature version of the 2001 vintage. The palate is high toned and shows some evidence of volatility. Broad, burnt flavours with a phenolic, bitter edge. Bare bones; it lacks any sense of flesh. (04/08)

1998 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Mid-full yellow-orange. Dull nose; broad and clumsy. Solid, powerful and concentrated on the palate, but lacks flesh. Sound, stony, mineral profile on the palate but is very simple and displays some raised acidity. The acid carries the wine. Phenolic and clumsy to the finish. After five days it appeared to be better balanced and had fattened out, but remains pithy on the finish. There is less evidence of oxidative characters in this vintage. Drinking now, but could hold further. This is less controversial but a question mark still remains over its true quality and authenticity. (04/08)

1997 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Mid-depth yellow/gold. Broad and creamy developing a nutty, autolytic nose with time. Faintly smoky and savoury. Attractive. Big and broad on entry and shows itself as hot and alcoholic (I question the 14% alcohol displayed on the label). Powerful, but heavy-handed and clumsy with a bitter, phenolic edge to the finish. Fino sherry-like flavours with a saline edge. Again, this is more oxidative than oxidised but remains unbalanced, hot and clumsy. (04/08)

1996 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Mid-depth. Yellow/orange. Dull nose displaying acacia and white flowers. This is not really oxidised or oxidative, but just appears to be an authentic but quickly tiring old Chenin. The palate shows a simple flavour profile with some oxidation. It builds well, but becomes hot and clumsy to the finish. Some barley sugar. Very high acidity to finish with not enough flesh to support it. Drying out. Needs drinking. (04/08)

1995 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Bright. Mid-depth orange/bronze. Dull and flat on the nose and lacks any real interest. Some barley sugar aromas. Broad but flat on entry with some flavours of quince and bruised apples. There is proper acidity here, but still a bit raised and unknit. Heavy and phenolic on the finish. Ends short with a saline, salty, Palo Cortado like tang. (04/08)

1995 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant Moëlleux  
Bright. Mid-full yellow/gold. Ripe but clean nose showing some of the white flowers and acacia of a mature Chenin, but is by no means tired. Obvious sweetness (28g/l) on entry. Ripe, rich and well focused. Good balance and a proper wine. Quite high toned with a crunchy acidity. It just shows a little hot. Very good length. This is drinking well now and should at least hold if not improve. (04/08)

1994 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Dull. Mid-depth orange. Very powerful ‘dry’ botrytis character to the nose. Very clean but mean mineral palate with decent focus, but lacking some flesh and charm. Some juicy acidity helps to carry the finish. Drinking now as unlikely to improve. (06/04)

1992 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Bright. Mid-pale yellow/gold. Attractive nose with a hint of gun smoke and flint indicating some reduction. Mature, with some marzipan behind. Well textured yet delicate on entry but with very firm acidity. Hollow on the mid palate and falls short to the finish. Mature flavour profile with more white flowers and develops a peaty, smoky, salty edge with time. This is still sound and should hold, but is unlikely to improve. (04/08)  

1991 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Bright. Mid-full appearance. Yellow/gold. Clean, rich and open on the nose. Fairly creamy with coffee and caramel. Mid-full on entry with density, texture and good richness. There is a thread of minerality running through the wine. Rich to the finish with quite low acidity and more flavours of caramel and coffee. Broad on the finish and slightly pithy. Drinking well now, but will hold, if not age further. (01/09)

1990 Savennières-Roche-aux-Moines 'Clos de la Bergerie'
Polished, luminous appearance. Mid depth with green tinges. The nose is distinctly 'organic' and a little high toned. It is, however, attractive with some proper minerailty and sense of place. The palate is delicate and refined on entry. Excellent structure and poise. Taut to the finish. There is absolutely no rush to drink. (04/10) 

1990 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant
Polished. Mid depth, staw-yellow-gold. Tight, mineral and very reserved on the nose. It appears backward and unevolved. The palate is still very youthful and still very fresh, displaying a great stony minerality. The wine is poised and focused with a very persistent and juicy acidity to the finish. This demonstrates the quality of its provenance. Still immature, this wine has a very long life ahead of it. (04/10)  

1988 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant
Polished. Mid-depth. Luminous yellow-green. Impressive appearance. The nose is clean, but with a hint of terpine. Very delicate and gentle. Restrained, with hints of white truffle that just opens up in the glass. Lovely texture on entry. Builds well with great focus and balance. Mineral, persistent and a tartaric edge to the acidity. Very clean and pure. Slightly more texture than the 1986 with greater power and concentration, but in a very similar style and state of evolution. Restrained, pithy and chalky finish. No rush to drink. Excellent. (04/09)

1986 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Bright. Mid-depth straw/yellow. Attractive dry and tightly mineral nose with hints of apple and quince and developing lime and marmalade notes with time. Coconut and gorse with a savoury character developing. Deeply complex. Stony with a hint of reduction. Refined and delicate on entry. Taut but juicy acidity. Powerful with a strong mineral expression. Grapefruit flavours with a pithy finish. Profound and persistent. Tasted over a five day period, this just improved over time. This is drinking well now, but will continue to hold for many more years. A great wine. (04/08)

1984 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Mid-full yellow/gold. Broad and floral with white flowers to the nose. This is showing its age, but is not yet completely tired. Well textured palate with some grip. Hint of spice. Builds well to a powerful finish. Very good concentration. Some terpine flavours and a pithy austere finish. It just falls a little short and starting to dry out. Should hold a couple more years but will not improve. Drink up. (04/08)

1983 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Bright. Yellow/green. Some reduction on the nose. Smokey and tight and not very giving. Terpine aromas. Very lean and austere with good intensity to the finish. The reduction has helped to preserve this, so still relatively youthful and should age further. (06/04)  

1982 Savennières – Roche aux Moines ‘Clos de la Bergerie’
Polished. Deep orange, but retains some green hints. Mature appearance. The nose shows distinct age, but it is still pretty behind. Earthy with some white mushroom and a faint terpine character. Concentrated palate and just on the edge of the plateau of maturity, displaying a little oxidation on the finish. Oranges and tangerine flavour profile. Oxidative, but opens up well in the glass. Very good focus and length, with a dry, mineral and earthy finish. Authentic. Just beginning to tire and dry out. (04/09)

1982 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Polished. Mid-full yellow/gold. Rich, ripe and complex on the nose. A hint of honey and a faint impression of some reduction; there is a hint of gun smoke here. This is lovely and a great example of Chenin. Beautifully structured with great length. Flavours of apple and quince. Multi-layered. Still very youthful, this shows some ripeness. Powerful and very long. This proves what the wine really can be.
Very fine. (04/08)

1981 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Mid-pale. Yellow with distinct green hints. Some richness on the nose. Open and attractive. A hint of gunflint and reduction. Smokey, but lacks the definition of the 1982. Leaner profile. Greengage and star fruit flavours. Austere to the finish with some pithiness showing. Still powerful but at its peak now. This will hold but not improve. (04/08)

1980 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Mid depth yellow/gold. Tired nose. Beginning to show its age with aromas of white flowers and marzipan. Dry, mid weight entry with the palate in better shape than the nose suggests. Quite lean and austere. Lacks flesh with very firm acidity to the finish. Just starting to dry out. Needs drinking as this won’t improve. (04/08)

1979 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Bright but bitty. Mid-depth yellow/gold. Very delicate and smoky. Bone dry palate; very lean and mineral. Typical. Intense and persistent finish, the acidity carries the wine. This is drinking now and unlikely to improve, but should also hold now in bottle for a few more years. (06/04)

1978 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Polished. Mid-full yellow/gold. Broad nose with some asparagus notes. Flinty. Creamy and complex. Quite ripe but very delicate on entry. Raised acidity, but retains some flesh. A leaner profile but with very good balance. Well focused. Some evidence of residual sugar. This won’t improve further, but neither needs drinking up immediately. (04/08)

1969 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Bright. Mid-depth appearance. Mid full with a savoury, cheesy nose. Bright, fresh acidity to the palate with very good focus. A touch savoury. Coconut flavours on the finish. Some persistence. Could evolve further. (06/04)

1966 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Luminous. Deep yellow/gold. Lovely rounded focused nose. White flowers, acacia and marzipan with a faint minerality behind. Delicate and still very fresh. Excellent balance and develops a second layer on the palate. Rich, but with crisp acidity behind. Lovely texture. Persistent. Retains an authentic pithy edge to the finish. A complete wine and perfect in the context of Savennières. Mature now, but shows no signs of tiring. This will keep for many more years. (04/08)

1961 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Polished. Orange with some green hints. Great graduation to the rim. Delicate but mature nose. Complex, nutty, and herbal; even toast. Concentrated on entry with a flavour profile reminiscent of white Rioja. Very fine and persistent acidity. Complex. No rush to drink up. (09/02)

1957 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant  
Bright. Orange/bronze. Complex nose of oranges and quince, but also coffee and chocolate, moving through to a more savoury spectrum of aromas. Toffee apple and candy-floss too. The palate is very clean and crisp with cinnamon rice pudding and crème brulée to the finish. Lovely balance and acidity. A complete wine. (06/04)  

1990 Anjou Rouge
The last year that red wine was produced in the Joly cellar. Opaque. Dull red showing some evolution to the rim. The nose is delicate, light and earthy or even grubby. This is still distinctly Cabernet Franc, even if the fruit has faded. Light on entry with good red fruit flavours on the mid palate. The tannins, however, remain brutal. This was over extracted and will never soften. It will keep but not improve. (04/10)

Nicolas Joly  
Chateau de la Roche aux Moines  
T: +33 2 41 72 28 20  

F: +33 2 41 72 28 68


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