2019 Château de Fosse-Sèche Saumur Rouge «Réserve du Pigeonnier»
Region: France, Loire - Saumur
Farming: Certified biodynamic
Grape Variety: Cabernet Franc
Off-dry, med-bodied red; earth and soul | Boar, grouse and game
50-60 year old vines, yield restricted to 12 hl/ha. Long maceration and 33 months ageing on the lees in concrete eggs.
"Pigeonnier" means dovecote in French, and the wine is named after the 16th century dovecote on the estate, near to which these vines grow. It is a reserve wine due to the extensive ageing it undergoes before bottling. It has been commented on as the big brother of the Eolithe, which is the brothers' main cuvée.
The site of Château de Fosse-Sèche was a medieval Benedictine monastery. Records from the 13th century indicate that vines were planted here. Previous owners of the wines preferred to sell their grapes to a local co-operative, so there was no winery on site.
The modern estate is over 40 hectares in total, of which 17 are under vine. The rest is populated by woodland and a wide variety of wildlife is encouraged to harbour biodiversity around the vineyards. In fact, the whole estate is certified as a national bird sanctuary. Somewhat unusually, the vines are all planted contiguously in one big plot. However, rows of Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon are alternately planted to encourage further biodiversity. Unlike the more common sites in Saumur with chalky soils, Fosse-Sèche is situated on a Jurassic plateau where flint and gravel are held together by clay-dominated soils.
Belgian-born twins Guillaume and Adrien spent their childhood in Madagascar, but expanded their educations and gained professional experience in Europe. Since 2010, they have run Château de Fosse-Sèche with their partners, Cécile and Julie.
Find out more here.