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

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Two vintages of Jean-Pierre Chevallier's Le Grand Clos, Saumur-Champigny, Château de Villeneuve:

2013 Le Grand Clos, Saumur-Champigny, Château de Villeneuve  

2013 Le Grand Clos, Saumur-Champigny, Château de Villeneuve  
Vin Biologique 
2011 Le Grand Clos, Saumur-Champigny, Château de Villeneuve  

Jean-Pierre Chevallier of Château de Villeneuve in Souzay-Champigny has long been one of my favourite Loire producers – both for his Saumur Blancs, especially Les Cormiers, and Saumur-Champigny. Le Grand Clos is his top Saumur-Champigny cuvée. It is only released in vintages when it is up to the standard that JP has set for Le Grand Clos.       

I have enjoyed many vintages of Le Grand Clos stretching back to 1995 and 1996.  It was good to taste and drink the two most recent vintages of Le GC – 2011 and 2013. These are wines that deserve to be cellared for five or six years at least to show their best.

2013 Le Grand Clos   
Initially I was a little surprised that Jean-Pierre had decided to release the 2013, which was a far from easy vintage with a very late flowering. On first taste the 2013 was quite lean with less texture and more marked acidity than the 2011, although with some attractive red fruits. 

However, going back to the 2013 a day after it was opened the wine had softened and taken on more weight. It will be interesting to see how it develops over the next two or three years. 

2011 Le Grand Clos
Rich, softly textured black fruits with a touch of toastiness, well rounded tannins and good length but not a big structure. This 2011 is attractive to drink now but is likely to improve with further time in bottle but may not, however, be a vintage for very long aging – more 1997 than 1996 or 1995. It will offer plenty of enjoyment over the next few years.

Between the 2011 and 2013 vintage the estate has completed its conversion to organic viticulture, shown by the vin biologique label on the 2013.     


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