Place: Saumur-Champigny — Loire Valley, France
Variety: Cabernet Franc
Whilst the Hardouin family has been present in Varrains since 1783 and Mickael Hardouin has been making very good wines since 2007 from their exceptionally placed vineyards, the story of Clos Maurice as we now know it is a very new one.
In 2017 Nicolas Reau began a partnership with the domaine, immediately changing the farming and winemaking practices. The results three years on are spectacular.
Biodynamic farming is undertaken, and vinification is conducted with an extremely hands off approach. Fermentation for most cuvees occurs in cement or steel and sulphur is only added to the rose.
Purity of fruit and racy texture are the hallmark here, resonating with great energy and a remarkable sense of place.
Named for Fernande Misandeau from which the Hardouin family purchased the vineyard in 1985. She donated the proceeds to Varrains music school and the family honours that generosity by naming this cuvee for her.
It is cabernet franc from a great vineyard comprising limestone, clay and sand soils. Unlike the others, this is fermented and raised for 18 months in a new Stockinger barrel from Austria.
This is a wine made for ageing and has decades ahead of it, but like Midi, if you seek power in your reds, this will entirely satisfy.