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Domaine Clau de Nell

 

Clau de Nell is a tiny, triumphant, biodynamic winery located in Ambillou Château, Anjou. It is the brainchild of some of the wine world’s most forward thinkers.

When the late Anne-Claude Leflaive bought Clau de Nell as a dilapidated eight hectares domaine in 2008, the vineyards had been unattended for several years. The vines were overgrown and unkempt, some had been damaged and others removed altogether. Anne-Claude promptly appointed Sylvain Potin as manager of Clau de Nell. Sylvain brought incredible domestic and international experience in biodynamic viticulture. He began the huge task of nurturing hectares of forgotten vines back to health and productivity and instated a ten year program of replanting to replace missing and unsalvageable vines.

Anne-Claude also recruited leading viticultural soil consultants Claude and Lydia Bourguignon to uncover and unlock the huge potential of Clau de Nell’s earth.

Anne-Claude herself, had always been at the forefront of biodynamic farming practices in Burgundy. Under her stewardship, her family Domaine, Domaine Leflaive (Puligny-Montrachet) had become one of the best regarded wineries in the world. Both local and international producers had taken note of her inspired, ecologically sensitive approach.

Domaine Clau de Nell

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Domaine Clau de Nell

Certified organic and Biodynamic

The goal of growing vines biodynamically is to foster strong biodiversity and a sustainable, healthy ecosystem without the introduction of chemicals or pesticides. In addition to the environmental benefits, the quality and complexity of fruit grown under these practices is unrivalled.

The Ambillou Chateau vineyard was planted in the 1920s. It is primely located and unusually distanced from the rest of the region’s vineyards. Its unique isolation has quarantined it from the invasive and synthetic farming practices of its neighbours. The vineyard is located 90 metres above sea level, 120 kilometres west of the Atlantic coast, on a south-facing hill planted with Cabernet Franc, Grolleau, Cabernet Sauvignon and more recently Chenin grapes.

The Team at Clau de Nell is always striving to strike a harmonious chord between humans and nature to achieve the highest standards in product, workplace and sustainable agriculture. Even the most laborious tasks at Clau de Nell are undertaken for no more than three hours a day so as to keep spirits high amongst the Domaine’s team.  Clau de Nell is a jewel in the crown of the Loire Valley.

Clau de Nell is growing the following varietals on silty-clay with grit and red flint on tuffeau (limestone):

- Cabernet Franc: 5 hectares

- Grolleau: 2 hectare, 90 year old vines, planted around 1929

- Cabernet Sauvignon: 1 hectare planted around 1956

- Chenin: 1.5 hectares, planted in 2012 and 2013

Healthy grapes are harvested by hand then destemmed. The Chenin are then pressed and the reds are vatted for maceration and fermentation. The in-barrel ageing process is long and important for the softening of the wines and development of their complexity. The wines mature for twelve to eighteen months in centuries old troglodyte caves, with high humidity and stable  14 C  temperatures all year long. There is no filtration before bottling. Clau de Nell is grand cru by every standard and showcases a superb terroir in a singular region. 

Clos Cachet is honored to directly import and distribute Clau de Nell wines in Australia.

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