94pt WS 2004 Ch. de Suronde Quarts de Chaume Sweet Chenin 500ml

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The Loire Valley is bucolic region filled with historic wineries and serene vineyards of Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc that watch the river flow. Ch. de Suronde is such a humble, quaint and charming winery, it's a surprise to discover the one of the world's finest sweet Chenins comes from such humble beginnings.This is truly a wine for the connoisseur. It is meditative, contemplative, and such a joy to drink.

In the early nineties, after raising his children, and having spent his career in the maritime industry, Francis Poirel began looking to purchase a wine-making estate and fulfill his dreams of becoming a wine-maker.  His goal was to take his place next to his wine-making friends and idols who were at the forefront of a “new wave” of wine-making which had rapidly spread in France during the 1980’s and 90’s.  These were passionate wine-makers who recognized that the future of modern wine-making was in fact a return to their roots and a more holistic approach to growing wine.  Only by doing this, they believed, would the regional wines of France regain their deserved place in a world filled with a sea of mass-produced, homogenous tasting wine. There is no added sugar to this wine, and no acidification. It takes approximately 1 vine to yield 1 glass of this nectar. Truly a nectar!

This late release is showing beautifully, with glazed peach and pear notes lifted by hints of orange zest, green tea and honeysuckle. Fleshy, unctuous and yet still fresh on a finish rounded off by a burnished edge. Drink now through 2018. 250 cases imported. 94pts WS

**Some retailers are selling this wine at $65/btl!!!

More About the Winery

 In the early nineties, after raising his children, and having spent his career in the maritime industry, Francis Poirel began looking to purchase a wine-making estate and fulfill his dreams of becoming a wine-maker.  His goal was to take his place next to his wine-making friends and idols who were at the forefront of a “new wave” of wine-making which had rapidly spread in France during the 1980’s and 90’s.  These were passionate wine-makers who recognized that the future of modern wine-making was in fact a return to their roots and a more holistic approach to growing wine.  Only by doing this, they believed, would the regional wines of France regain their deserved place in a world filled with a sea of mass-produced, homogenous tasting wine.

After a couple of years of searching, Poirel came upon a semi-abandoned estate in the prized Quarts de Chaume appellation.  This magical spot for making sweet wine is situated on the northern banks of the Layon near the village of Rochefort-sur-Loire.  The entire appellation is comprised of 41 hectares (102 acres), and it is entirely devoted to the Chenin grape, and more specifically sweet, late harvest and botrytis effected wines, for this is the area of the Layon where the noble rot botrytis cinerea is induced by the unique micro-climate.  The appellation takes its name from the ancient practice of the church taking, as rent for the vineyards, one quarter of the harvest from this prime spot over the river facing the south.  Poirel’s Château du Suronde is one of the seven original properties that make up Quarts de Chaume, and he farms seven hectares.

Poirel’s vineyards are farmed organically and biodynamically.  There are no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides used on the estate.  It must be noted that Poirel is the only grower in the area to farm his vineyards in this manner.  Fortunately the vineyards make up one large parcel that are unaffected by their neighbors.  The grapes are harvested by hand in small wooden boxes over a long period of time.  Normally this means five to eight passes through the vineyards in order to pick only those grapes that are perfectly suited to making up part of this nectar.   There is no added sugar to the wine, and no acidification.  The yields here are about 11 hectoliters/hectare.



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