2016 Domaine du Collier Saumur Blanc
Within a short period of time Antoine Foucault is already making some of the most exciting wines in the Loire Valley. The Domaine du Collier was created in 1999 by Antoine (son of Charly Foucault from the famed Clos Rougeard) and his wife Caroline. Having worked at Clos Rougeard for four years and still at the young age of 26 he took the opportunity to buy four-hectares of vines (through his family) in the commune of Brézé in the best lieu-dit of ‘La Ripaille’. The estate comprises 6 hectares with the vast majority of the estate planted to Chenin Blanc (including some 100 year old vines) and just under a hectare of Cabernet Franc.
Antoine is dedicated to natural viticulture, without the use of chemical treatments, fertilizers, or weed killers. The harvest is manual with strict sorting carried out in the vineyards. In his deep cellar, Antoine does not use commercial yeast, and doesn’t treat the wine with sulphur until bottling. The end results are brilliant and it is probably no surprise that demand for them is very high and as a result they can be very hard to find.
This 2016 is shaping up as one of the finest Saumur Blanc produced from Antoine. That it is a wine from grapes grown in stone and then aged in a stone cellar is evident - this is totally crystalline, seemingly hewn purely from the stones that lie in the ground from which it comes - floating on top is an entrancing citrus and floral perfume. In 2016 there is freshness and clarity - it has real presence and drive the finish is chiseled in the mouth displaying cut and salinity - it finishes with the sort of gravitas to make you ponder. Mouthwatering acidity, a fine substance, a vivacious finish - there is greatness here.