Château l’Oiselinière de la Ramée 2011
Longstanding in Loire, with roots that date back to 1412, the Chéreau family has been such a prominent player in the area of Muscadet, that there are a large number of wine growers that carry their same name. Today, with Bernard Chéreau at the helm (as the son of Monsieur Chéreau and Edmonde Carré), the Chéreau Carré family owns a total of 267 acres under vine. Divided into three different estates (Chateau de la Chesnaie, Comte Leloupe de Chasseloir and Le Clos), Chéreau Carré was established in 1960, fusing M. Chéreau’s family name with that of Edmonde Carré, his wife.
Situated not far from the Atlantic, at the convergence of the Sèvre and the Maine, Le Clos is a single vineyard 10ha site with 40+ year old vines that sit on a “dome shaped” hill facing south, with soil of schist rock topped by clay.
Committed to a single varietal, Melon de Bourgogne, the Chéreau family is largely responsible for the current popularity of Muscadet. In the 1960s and 70s, M. Chéreau marketed Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie in and around France, and most especially in the brasseriers and restaurants of Paris. And just as Bernard, who began his work with the estate in 1982 and took over in 2003, picked up where M. Chéreau left off, it is he who is responsible for the creating an export market for Chéreau Carré.
“Registered since the Napolenic period,” the Clos du Chateau l’Oiselinière is restricted to yields of only 47hl per hectare. Practicing organic farming, Bernard eliminates pests with hormones and uses Bordeaux mixture to prevent mildew. Plowing between the vines to aerate the soil, the family also employs hand-harvesting. In the cellar, the yeast is indigenous and the wine receives six months on its lees in concrete tanks before bottling.
With notes of crushed oyster shells, citrus fruit and powdered granite, the Château l’Oiselinière de la Ramée 2011 has cascading acidity, its tartness tempered by the wine’s minerality with pithy lime on the finish.