Domaine du Haut Bourg vineyards are located in the town of Bouaye. The soil which mainly contains micaschiste, granite and sand gives good balance and richness to the wines. The Lac de Grandlieu (south), the Loire river (north) and the low altitude (from 15 to 25 meters) has created a unique microclimate characterized by small thermal variations between day and night time. This phenomenon enables an early harvest.
The wine making
The average age of the vines is around 30 years although the oldest are 70 years old, and it is these that are the essence of complex wines with structure and great minerality. Nicolas and Hervé Choblet are fervent practitioners of “agriculture raisonné” and tend to the Domaine with great respect for the environment. During the first four years of the vines being bedded, the soil around is ploughed to allow the roots to attain greater depth. Then grass is left to grow; this practice greatly limits the need for pesticides, and also avoids the soil compacting.
After harvesting the grapes, they are crushed in a pneumatic press. The must is left to settle for 48 hours at 13°C approximately. This method of vinification gives more aromas and better balance to the wines. The white wines are vinified on their lees. The advantage of this type of vinification (which is named “Sur Lie”) is the production of more fruit driven wines with balanced aromas.
Grolleau gris, 2013 ****£8.99****** BUY NOW!
Although it is one of the lesser known varietal, Grolleau Gris can make for delicious and versatile wines. It is very aromatic with citrus fruit, lychee and apricot jumping from the glass. Crisp and fresh with a fantastic underlying minerality, it is an excellent summer wine that will go well as an aperitif or with seafood and shellfish.
Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 ***£8.99**** BUY NOW!
Another great representative of the Loire Valley style that will match fish and seafood to perfection (also an excellent partner to goats cheese). A very floral Sauvignon Blanc with hints of passion and citrus fruits, the aromas are again well balanced with a zesty freshness and light acidity.
Origine, Muscadet, 2005 ****£13.99*****BUY NOW!
A Muscadet that dares to be different and definitively a “must try”! As opposed to the classic style of Muscadet – very young, lively and light- this wine is made using the grapes from the oldest vines on the estate (70 years old). These old vines have a lower yield and the fruit a higher juice concentration; this invariably enhances the flavour of the wine. After fermentation, the wine is then kept for 10 years in cement tanks underground before bottling. The result: a very complex, rich and full bodied Muscadet with notes of almond, dried fruits and pineapple. The length on the palate is exceptional but it still retains that authentic minerality inherent to Muscadet. It has a further 4 to 5 years ageing potential; this allows for the consumption of a matured wine without the disadvantage of storage. Great by itself or paired with fish, white meat or goat cheese.