2019 Francois Cazin Cour-Cheverny, Loire Valley, France

Offering up a complex nose of fresh apricot, lime peel, a hint of quince, a complex base of soil tones and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate it's bright, full-bodied and zesty, with lovely minerality, zesty acids and a long, balanced finish.



100% Romorantin. Cour Cheverny has only existed as an AOC since 1997; François Cazin was instrumental in the drive to establish it to save this ancient local variety. The Cazin vines are planted on clay-limestone soils; some go all the way back to 1928. The farming is sustainable and the harvest by hand. The bunches are direct-pressed and the wine fermented in steel tank with native yeasts. It is aged on its lees without stirring in 23-25-hectoliter foudres for 6 months, followed by some months in underground vats and bottling by gravity with a light filtration a year after the vintage. There are usually a few grams of residual sugar, though they are easy to miss, given the high natural acidity of Romorantin. "Le Petit Chambord" is the historical name of the property and appears on all of its labels.


Created in 1993, Cheverny is one of the most recent appellations in the Loire Valley. The area, south of the Loire and abutting the marshy region of Sologne (the best hunting grounds in France), has produced wines since the 6th century. The soils consist of various combinations of clay, limestone and silica. Many varietals are planted: Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet and Côt for red wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin and Menu Pineau for the whites.

Cazin tends vines of considerable age and the resulting yields are well below average in any given year. His Cheverny is fresh and floral, with appley-texture and crisp acidity. The flavors are sleek and precise. Since 1997, the wine has been bottled unfiltered by gravity. His wines have consistently been the top pick of the vintage at the annual Loire Valley wine show in Angers. By legislation, a Cheverny wine has to be a blend of varietals and Cazin’s white is 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chardonnay.

Cazin also makes a cuvée of Cour-Cheverny, exclusively from the ancient local grape Romorantin. This varietal, with its high acidity and minerality, can be angular and rough. But in the right hands, it achieves high ripeness and the wine has astonishing grapey, apricot and roasted nuts flavors, kept fresh and lively by good acidity. In very ripe vintages, when the grapes undergo passerillage or noble rot, Cazin vinifies some of his Romorantin off-dry, calling it "Cuvée Renaissance". A considerably smaller amount of red wine is also produced from Pinot Noir and Gamay.


Grape(s) Romorantin
Farming Sustainable