Nicolas Joly AOC Coulée De Serrant 2011 (Monopole)
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.'