The vines of the Cabernet Franc are 45 to 55 years old. The vines stand in loamy silty soil on sandstone as well as in red flint on tuffeau .
The yield is 40 hl/ha. The grapes were harvested by hand in 12-kilo crates. They were destemmed and fermented over 30 days with only infrequent pumping over. They were then aged for twelve months on the fine lees in Burgundian Pièces from five to seven years. The cuvée then matured again for half a year in the piece barrel.
The 2016 Cabernet Franc from Clau de Nell fascinates with its complexity already present at a young age. It still smells very slightly reductive of truck tarpaulin, but that quickly fades with a little air, and then it becomes very exciting. At first you find a bit of menthol and leafy greens from the nettle, then it warms up, garrigue pours into the wine, ripe blackberries and cherries, especially currants and plums, then tobacco and something slightly animal. At the same time, the wine never seems opulent, but rather slender, composed, almost delicate.
On the palate, the Cabernet Franc delivers freshness and clarity alongside inner warmth and maturity. The wine is silky in tannin and lively in acidity. If you draw a line from Cru sites in Burgundy to Grand Cru Classé sites in Saint-Émilion, Clau de Nell's vineyard should actually be right in the middle. The wine is a gem from its temperate year, providing impressive depth and complexity where rich dark fruit meets pure energy.
Food recommendations by Christoph Raffelt
- Baked eggs with farro and mushrooms
- Sautéed duck breast with porcini mushrooms, red wine reduction and thyme
- Makloubé - oriental spiced rice
Clau de Nell
Clau De Nell, Rue de Noyers, 49700 Ambillou-Château / France, Organic certificate: FR-BIO-01