Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Guimonière Chaume 2010: Decanter Loire Regional Trophy 2012: best sweet wine

David Greiller with the 2010 Chaume, Guimonière

2010 Coteaux du Layon Chaume, Château de la Guimonière
Château de la Guimonière has long been one of the leading properties on the ridge, overlooking the River Layon, that leads from Beaulieu-sur-Layon to Saint-Aubin-de-Luigné. The vines of Guimonière are in Chaume on the top of the slope above the steeper slopes that make up the Quarts de Chaume.

The château, which dates from the 15th century, is no longer in the same hands as the vines. It is owned by the Doucet family, who sold the vineyard in 1991 to Gaston Lenôtre, a famous pastry chef, who also bought Châteaux de Fesles (Bonnezeaux) and la Roulerie (Saint-Aubin-de-Luigné). In turn Lenôtre sold in 1996 to Bernard Germain, who then sold them in 2005 to Alain Château, the owner of nearby and long established Château Bellerive in the Quarts de Chaume. Alain Château also owns Château de Varennes in Savennières as well as three properties in Bordeaux including Yon Figeac in Saint-Emilion.

Since 2006 David Greiller has been in charge of all of Alain Château’s Loire properties with Denis Dubourdieu as the consultant oenologist for the whole estate. Greiller had worked previously for LaCheteau until it was acquired by Grands Chais de France.  

Greiller: “Guimonière has 16 hectares of vines with four in Chaume in four blocks. In 2010 we were really on a knife-edge with heavy rain on 10th October. Fortunately the wind turned to the east and dried everything up. We had a window of eight days. The grapes were very homogeneous: we picked at 22% potential with 100% botrytis. The juice was then vinified and aged in 400-litre barrels.”

This Guimonière shows what a fabulous sweet wine vintage 2010 is in Anjou-Saumur with a thrilling balance of rich fruit and precise acidity. Even better it is only 15€ for 50cl from Bellerive.  

David Greiller with the 2010 Chaume, Guimonière
@Château Bellerive

I asked Greiller what he thought of the Baumards' decision to mount a legal action against the new Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru appellation. He replied that he was disappointed that the Baumards had taken this step. He put it down to a long history of conflict and regretted that the attempts by people like Stéphane Branchereau to broker a compromise had not been taken up by the Baumard family. 

Château de la Guimonière: quite separate from the vineyards now offering a gîte 

(This is a slightly expanded version of the profile that has just been published in the October 2012 edition of Decanter.)          

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