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2014 Saumur-Champigny, Tradition, S. Ratron, Clos des Cordeliers
For over 3 centuries, Le Clos de Cordeliers has been among the most celebrated vineyards in the Saumur wine region. References to the cultivation of vines at the estate date back to the early 17th century. But it was the Cordeliers de Saumur, the Fransciscan monks that acquired the estate in 1696, who gave the place its name and fame. Over the ensuing century, they established the "clos" (the walls-surounded vineyard) and produced wine that became coveted throughout the region.
The French Revolution saw the confiscation of religious' communities property by the state. Le Clos des Cordeliers was then bought by the family of Madam Amouroux, wealthy woners of Bordeaux vineyards. Already cited among the most renowned red wines of the times, the estate is one of very few in Loire to be included in the 1830's first edition of Classification des Vins du Monde (A. Julien).
In 1932, Le Clos des Cordeliers is bought by the Ratron family, who in the years the follow expands and modernises the property. With its award winening wines, the estate is one of the founding members of the Saumur Champigny AOC, one of the Loire's most prestigious red wine appellations.
The first Cabernet Franc vines were planted at Les Clos de Cordeliers in the 19th centrury. The soil and the micro-climate proved optimal for the grape and today the entire 19 hectares of the estate consist solely of Cabernet France vines
Cabernet Franc is widely planted in Bordeaux and is the most important black grape grown in the Loire. In the Médoc it may constitute up to 15% of a typical vineyard - it is always blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is used to add bouquet and complexity to the wines. It is more widely used in St.Emilion where it adapts well to the cooler and moister clay soils - Cheval Blanc is the most famous Cabernet Franc wine in the world, with the final blend consisting of up to 65% of the grape.
Cabernet Franc thrives in the Loire where the cooler growing conditions serve to accentuate the grape's herbaceous, grassy, lead pencil aromas. The best wines come from the tuffeaux limestone slopes of Chinon and Bourgeil where growers such as Jacky Blot produce intense well-structured wines that possess excellent cellaring potential.
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