Nicolas Joly AOC Coulée De Serrant 2016 (Monopole)
'From the monopole and single vineyard AOC of Coulee de Serrant comes Nicolas Joly’s top flight chenin blanc. Of course Joly’s name is synonymous with some of the most concerted and dedicated biodynamic farming in the wine world. This chenin blanc arguably one of the most chased down whites from France. Fancy as. I remember more bony, skeletal and mineral-flecked wines in the past, but the modern incarnation of Coulee de Serrant is power, depth, richness.
Inky white wine of slip and slide, deeply flavoured in pear, quince, ripe citrus, something nutty creamy, white pepper and cucumber in tonic water. So much happening here. Moves slowly and with layers and layers of flavour with each sip. A fog of fragrance and a potent soup of chenin character here. Quite something. All adds up to a very memorable, rich and decadent experience. Drink now and long in cellar.'
- 95 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
If the Loire Valley had a Grand Cru site this would be it! Not just a top-notch Chenin Blanc, but one of the best white wines you could find anywhere in France.
'Nicolas Joly is widely (well, universally) recognized as the "Godfather" of biodynamic wine. Such is his obsession with the methodology and his energy in promoting its use in vineyards the world over. He also happens to own outright one of the greatest vineyard sites in the Loire Valley, the Clos de la Coulée de Serrant. Its reputation is ensconced in its distinction as a separately designated AOC unto itself. The 7-hectare AOC is planted to Chenin blanc with vines ranging in age from 35 to 80 years. The site faces due south on a steep slope of schist and quartz, with a vine density of between 4,800 and 6,700 vines per hectare. One of France's most historic vineyards, viticulture here dates back to 1130 A.D. and the Cistercian monks who originally planted the vineyard. Amazingly, the 2016 vintage marks the 885th consecutive vintage harvested from the Clos. This is Joly's most prized terroir and his most prized wine. Harvesting of the vineyard often stretches out over the course of a month or more, bunch by gradually ripening bunch. Draconian yields of 25-30 hl/ha ensure only the best fruit makes it into the wine, and long, indigenous yeast fermentations (2-4 months) in tank and 500L barrel are a testament to the meticulous nature Joly brings to his craft. It's unquestionably an icon of French wine, and one of the longest-lived white wines in the world.'