This is the very first vintage Domaine Joel Delaunay has produced from this new and exciting appellation from the hills surrounding the iconic Chenonceaux Castle.
Thierry Delaunay is a fine example of the best of the new generation of French wine makers. Brought up by his father Joël to appreciate the traditional nuances of terroir and climate, Thierry has enthusiastically embraced modern winemaking techniques and styles. After completing his oenology studies in the Bordeaux region, Thierry returned to the domaine and joined the business in 1998. He succeeded his father in 2004 and today continues the family tradition, furthering the development of this beautiful property on the banks of the Cher.
The diversity of different soils in the Domaine's vineyards explains the number of different red and white grape varieties: the clay and flint soils or ‘perruches’ give the red wines distinctive qualities, while the white and rosé wines, including Delaunay's award-winning Touraine Sauvignon, derive their style and delicacy from the finer, less stony soils. Thierry believes in making expressive, fresh and racy wines that are a pleasure to drink and affordable for everyone.
His approach is to cultivate their vineyards with the greatest respect for the terroir of the region. Rigorous pruning in winter, ground cover of certain parcels to suppress weeds, de-budding of vines in June and careful canopy management in July all contribute to obtaining high quality grapes and the production of fruity, well-balanced wines.
The property has been certified for sustainable agriculture since 2006, thereby contributing to the conservation of their environment in the spirit of ‘enduring viticulture’. Any interventions are made after daily, close observation of the vineyards and consideration of factors such as temperature, rainfall and risk of disease.
The grapes were machine-harvested in mid-September 2014 before being de-stemmed and crushed. The fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at around 15C. During the first 21 hours of fermentation the skins were kept in contact with the juice. The fermented wine was aged on its lees until the following April before being bottled after a gentle filtering.
Usually, with white wine, the wine is whisked off the skins before fermentation, which otherwise start imparting tannins and whatnot (that’s a technical term), more appropriate for red wines. However! Some vintners, like Thierry Delauney in the Loire Valley, opt to leave the skins in the mix for part of the fermentation. Why do we sound so excited about this? Because it can lead to incredibly exciting, supple, textured wines such as La Vouté. It is rare for Sauvignon to be so fulsome and golden, but that it is, with glorious flavours of exotic fruits, citronella and white flowers.