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2014 Savennières “Cuvée Spéciale”

Château d'Epiré
Discount Eligible $30.00
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Epiré launched their Cuvée Spéciale in 1984, when Kermit begged them to keep some of their old demi-muids for an exclusive U.S. bottling that would effectively keep alive the vanishing tradition of aging Savennières in wood. So here it is, folks—Chenin Blanc grown on schist from the estate’s best vineyards, aged in a medley of neutral 550-liter chestnut and acacia barrels, bottled unfiltered. It has ample body, nerve, and plenty of length on the palate, with suggestions of fractured stone and nuts—that’s terroir and tradition in one tasty bottle. —Anthony Lynch

Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2014
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Chenin Blanc
Appellation: Savennières
Country: France
Region: Loire
Winemaker: Luc Bizard
Vineyard: Planted in 1989, 1.5 ha
Soil: Schist
Aging: Ages for about 6 months sur lie in very old chestnut demi-muids
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Production: 4000 cases
Alcohol: 13.5%

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About The Region

Loire

map of Loire

The defining feature of the Loire Valley, not surprisingly, is the Loire River. As the longest river in France, spanning more than 600 miles, this river connects seemingly disparate wine regions. Why else would Sancerre, with its Kimmeridgian limestone terroir be connected to Muscadet, an appellation that is 250 miles away?

Secondary in relevance to the historical, climatic, environmental, and cultural importance of the river are the wines and châteaux of the Jardin de la France. The kings and nobility of France built many hundreds of châteaux in the Loire but wine preceded the arrival of the noblesse and has since out-lived them as well.

Diversity abounds in the Loire. The aforementioned Kimmderidgian limestone of Sancerre is also found in Chablis. Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur boast the presence of tuffeau, a type of limestone unique to the Loire that has a yellowish tinge and a chalky texture. Savennières has schist, while Muscadet has volcanic, granite, and serpentinite based soils. In addition to geologic diversity, many, grape varieties are grown there too: Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne are most prevalent, but (to name a few) Pinot Gris, Grolleau, Pinot Noir, Pineau d’Aunis, and Folle Blanche are also planted. These myriad of viticultural influences leads to the high quality production of every type of wine: red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert.

Like the Rhône and Provence, some of Kermit’s first imports came from the Loire, most notably the wines of Charles Joguet and Château d’Epiré—two producers who are featured in Kermit’s book Adventures on the Wine Route and with whom we still work today.

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Old wine bottles

Let the brett nerds retire into protective bubbles, and whenever they thirst for wine it can be passed in to them through a sterile filter. Those of us on the outside can continue to enjoy complex, natural, living wines.

Inspiring Thirst, page 236