Guide to the Loire regions

Val du Loir

Producer Profiles – Coteaux du Vendômois

Charles Jumert

Charles Jumert is a pretty typical example of what to expect of a vigneron in the Coteaux du Vendômois. He comes from long line of farmers, in his case seven generations and as well as tending 13 hectares of vines (half of which he rents from a retired grower), he also farms wheat and lucerne along with other cereals. 

Wine Overview :
All twelve parcels here are on the right bank of the Loir, sited in the villages of Azé (0.80 ha) and Mazangé (1.70 ha) as well as Villiers-sur-Loir (10.50 ha) which is where his rock-hewn cellar is also situated. Of his own 6.5 hectares, the oldest vines were planted in 1900. Invariably these are Pineau d’Aunis and, even though established after phylloxera, they were planted ungrafted. For Jumert this is the most important variety he has planted and accounts for a total of six hectares. He insists that massale selected material is the only option when replanting Pineau d’Aunis, so he chooses his own stock and does the grafting (with riperia gloire) himself. As with most growers in the region, he does not produce AC wines exclusively; in fact only 30% of his production is sold as Coteaux du Vendômois.

The wines are raised in his caves in the tufa in epoxy lined concrete tanks, although some of the reds are to be found in barrique - where they end up tasting like a poor man’s Rioja. Bottling for the gris and the white wines is generally carried out in the spring following the harvest, with the reds later in the season. All the reds are blended and he has never seen the benefit of producing a pure Pineau d’Aunis.

The Wines :
These are simple but competent wines, although a little rustic and ‘paysan’. There are more exciting things happening in the appellation than can be found here.

2007 Coteaux du Vendômois Blanc
Pale appearance. Distinctive nose. Clean, candy floss and freshly baked croissants. Quite an old fashioned style. Very dry, taut and mineral. Austere with even a touch of tannic grip, but shows its potential. Unforgiving malic acidity with flavours of calvados. Unapproachable now as very closed and unknit, but should come right. (12/08)

1996 Coteaux du Vendômois Blanc
Very pale appearance. The palate is more evolved with some ‘maritime’ Chenin characters with aromas of apples and pears behind. Very mineral style. Bone dry and austere and has the same maritime/oyster shell flavours on the palate. Some phenolic grip. A bit rustic. Would best be kept and no rush to drink. Shows good varietal character but remains undistinguished. (12/08)

2007 Coteaux du Vendômois Gris
Salmon pink appearance. Polished. Spicy, with hints of brioche and yeast. Dry, mineral entry. Tight and austere. Very good weight and focus with very a fine thread of acidity. Good. Drinking now, but would age further. (12/08)

2005 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge
A blend of 45% Pineau d’Aunis, 35% Cabernet Franc and a token amount of Gamay. Tight and mineral, lean and austere. There is good freshness here, but it lacks fruit and generosity. It’s still youthful, but also a bit too herbal and green with a stalky finish. (12/08)

2007 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge
The blend for the reds changes from year to year – as does the label. A bit hot and baked on the nose and palate. Tight and falls short. Quite simple and ordinary. (12/08)

2006 Coteaux du Vendômois Rouge
Bright, youthful red. Much better on the nose that the 2007. It shows ripeness but is not hot. The palate is meaty, spicy and a touch ‘organic’. Good grip and is still quite firm, but should evolve. There is good fruit here and on the whole it is balanced and concentrated. Good. (12/08)

2003 Coteaux du Vendômois Blanc ‘Le Doucer de Meslier Saint-François’
This is a curiosity; made from an obscure and ancient variety once grown in the region called Meslier Saint-François. Its characteristics are very similar to those of Chenin. Jumert took cuttings in 1990 from an old vigneron who was grubbing up what was believed to be the last parcel in the region. The vineyard was in the path of the new TGV line and had to go. He did the grafting himself and he believes he is the only grower in the region still to have the variety. This 2003 was naively labelled under the appellation and he applied for a derogation on this vintage only. The wine, when made, has since been bottled as a Vin de Table. Lovely honeyed nose of apricot confit. Tight and mineral on the palate with a phenolic grip and high natural acidity to balance out the (60g/l) residual sugar. This is still quite unknit, but should come together. (12/08)

Charles Jumert
Cave de la Berthelotière
4 Rue de la Berthelotière
T: + 33 2 54 72 94 09
P: + 33 6 07 77 71 80
F: + 33 2 54 72 94 09


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