The Chateau de Coulaine in Beamont-en-Véron is one of the oldest organic farms in the Loire. It is run by Jean and Tatiana de Bonnaventure. The chateau that gives it its name was built in 1470, but viticulture has been practised on the Bonnaventures' mixed farm since 1434, as the family archives show. A harvest diary is kept from 1787 to 1824, followed by the dark years of phylloxera, until records of viticulture were resumed in the 1950s. At that time, Jean's grandfather Jacques Denys de Bonnaventure began to plant the old vineyards of the Domaine with vines from old vines. No chemicals have ever been used in the vineyards around the château, which means that the areas have been uncontaminated for 600 years and meet the highest standards. The rest of the land was converted to organic viticulture between 1994 and 1997 and has been managed accordingly ever since.
After studying agricultural engineering and oenology, Jean Bonnaventure and his wife Tatiana took over the family estate in 2017. Today, the farm comprises 19.5 hectares of vineyards planted exclusively with Cabernet franc and Chenin blanc.
The simple Chinon of Domaine de Coulaine from 100% Cabernet franc comes from rounding plots around the castle and was harvested by hand. Spontaneously fermented with its own yeasts, it was aged in concrete for several months after alcoholic fermentation.
Ruby red with black core and violet rim.
The Cabernet franc nose seems textbook, combining its youthful juicy fruit with the distinctive spicy notes of the grape variety that is a pure joy. Dark cherries, sloes and sour cherries combine with juniper, liquorice and braised red pepper. Aromatically, it is in the medium-bodied range and radiates serenity.
The 2019 Chinon from Jean and Tatiana Bonnaventure's Domaine de Coulaine is initially controlled on the nose by the small-grained tannins that keep its youthful esprit in check before the sparkling and bell-clear fruit makes its appearance. Ethereally cool on the palate, it is interwoven with mellow, ripe acidity and animatingly tart tannins that orchestrate the overall performance on the palate. Lively with substantial depth and at the same time nonchalant laissez-faire.
Food recommendations from Sebastian Bordthäuser
- Baked aubergine casserole with tomatoes and basil
- Lasagne of swordfish, red peppers and braised Tropea onions
- Salsiccia from the grill
Château de Coulaine
Chateau de Coulaine, 2 rue de Coulaine, 37420 Beaumont-en-Véron / France, Organic certificate: FR-BIO-01