Guide to the Loire regions

Val du Loir

Producer profiles - Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir

Domaine de Cézin (1925)

Fresneau, father and son

The Fresneau’s are the fourth generation of vignerons to have worked at the domaine since it was established in 1925. Gently spoken and ever modest François is in his late 50s and is the former president of the growers syndicate. His 25 year old son, Xavier, has now joined him and works in the vines.

Wine Overview:
They are important producers in the appellation of Coteaux du Loir where they work 13.5 hectares. Half of the vines are within the ownership of the family, but they also rent the same amount from half a dozen retired growers around the region, including Flée, Lhomme and six plots in Marçon. They have four hectares of Pineau d’Aunis and seven of Chenin. In addition, they also make a little wine in Jasnières from a combined 1.5 hectares they rent in Le Clos des Jasnières, Le Clos des Fleuries, Les Molières and Clos de la Gidonnières. In 2007, Xavier made own wine from rented vines in Chahaignes. Most of the grapes are harvested by machine, although they will pick Chenin by hand if a triage is required before harvest.

In the time of André Fresneau, all the wines were aged in chestnut, but François made the change to stainless steel and fibre glass when his father retired. They do, however, make a little wine in old barriques bought from Château Rieussec which have been used to ferment and age their dry white Bordeaux . They make two different reds each year; one from a blend of four different varieties which includes Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Côt along with between 60 and 65% Pineau d’Aunis; the other is an Aunis pur which has a passage in oak.

The Wines:
A little like François and Xavier, these wines are quiet and reserved, but with an aire of confidence and self assurance. The reds are particularly pure and make for a very good introduction to Pineau d’Aunis, both within a blend and as a mono-cépage. They should be viewed as one of the most consistent producers within the region.

2008 Coteaux du Loir Rosé
From Pineau d’Aunis. Half is maceration, the rest is direct pressure. Attractive, very pale appearance. Very clean and primary on the nose. The flavours are still quite neutral at present. Appears dry and mineral. Light, with some pepper on the finish. Good. (12/08)

2007 Coteaux du Loir Blanc ‘François Fresneau’
Bright. Pale green appearance. Clean, although marked by some sulphur. Restrained nose with a touch of green apple. Tight and austere, but very good structure. Good grip and concentration and mineral to finish. Persistent, but the flavours still need to evolve and allow the residual sulphur dioxide to abate. Appears dry, although it carries 6g/l residual sugar. Promising. (12/08)

2007 Coteaux du Loir Blanc ‘Xavier Fresneau’
Bright. Pale green. Primary nose. Needs time to express itself. The palate is more expressive due to the residual sugar (10g/l), but the flavours remain primary on the palate. Good potential. Green apple flavours and acidity. This really needs a year or two. (12/08)

2007 Coteaux du Loir Blanc ‘Delicatesse’
This is from 40 year old Chenin vines grown on clay and silex soils above the cellar. The Fresneau conduct a severe green harvest to reduce the crop to 30hl/ha. The wine is fermented in second hand Burgundy barrels and batonnaged whilst still on its fine less. Polished. Pale green. Attractive appearance. Richer and more open. The wood shows on both nose and palate, but is well textured although a little unknit at present with the oak and the acidity standing apart. Good structure and length. It just needs some time. It is currently dominated by its primary Chenin aromas and flavours. (12/08)

2007 Jasnières
Polished. Pale green. Attractive appearance. Clean and primary Chenin, showing quality even if not yet evolved. Mid weight on entry. Nicely rounded with good richness and concentration. Builds well with a firm, mineral acidity. It’s still tight on the palate, but shows its potential. Both the acidity and sulphur dioxide need to settle. True and authentic. (12/08)

2007 Jasnières ‘Clos des Fleuries’
Fermented and aged in oak. Polished. Pale green. Closed, but has a lovely clean and ripe nose with some flattering oak. Very good Chenin definition, although still very primary. Rich and sweet on entry (40g/l) but well focused with good structure and length. There is an edge of volatility here. Good acidity to the finish with green apple flavours. The wood is unknit, but this is a good example of a modern style. Shows promise but needs time. (12/08)

2007 Coteaux du Loir Rouge ‘Janus’
A blend of 65% Pineau d’Aunis with Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Côt. Polished. Very light appearance. Youthful pink to the rim. Attractive, spicy nose. The Pineau d’Aunis character shows through very clearly. Very pure on both nose and palate. Good grip with fresh acidity and supple tannins. Very light and delicate but with excellent balance and flavour profile. Lovely now, but should age over a number of years. (12/08)

2007 Coteaux du Loir Rouge ‘Aunis’
100% Pineau d’Aunis aged in concrete. Polished. Pale red/pink. Very good and pure varietal character to the nose. Aromas of pepper and spice and black, bitter cherries. Gentle on entry with good red fruit expression and more cherry flavours. Light, but with generous flesh. Supple tannins with lifted, fresh acidity. Lovely now, but could age further. (12/08)

Domaine de Cézin
Xavier & Francois Fresneau
Rue Cezin
T: + 33 2 43 44 13 70
F: + 33 2 43 79 91 49

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