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2022 Chardonnay

Eric Chevalier
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The Pays Nantais, land of Muscadet, may not be known for Chardonnay, but Éric Chevalier has earned a reputation for the fresh, clean rendition of the grape he crafts at his family estate. Since taking the reins from his father a decade ago, Éric has ambitiously implemented new ideas in order to improve the domaine’s wines: gradually eliminating the use of herbicide, plowing the soils, and enacting other sustainable practices for an eventual conversion to organic viticulture. Consequently, his wines express greater complexity and finesse each vintage, all while maintaining their budget-friendly appeal. This Chardonnay is fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel and ages in tank before being bottled unfiltered. The nose is floral with suggestions of crisp apple and pear, while the palate shows the same saline, mineral quality we expect from Muscadet—a clear marker of its Atlantic terroir. We recommend keeping a bottle in the fridge at all times in the event of an impromptu apéritif.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Chardonnay
Appellation: Vin de Pays du Val de Loire
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: Éric Chevalier
Vineyard: 10 - 15 years, 3 ha
Soil: Serpentinite, eclogite, quartz
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 11.5%

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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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Inspiring Thirst

A good doctor prescribed the wine of Nuits-Saint-Georges to the Sun King, Louis XIV, when he suffered an unknown maladie. When the king’s health was restored the tasty remedy enjoyed a vogue at court. Lord, send me a doctor like that!

Inspiring Thirst, page 117

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