2004 Chateau Tour Grise Saumur Brut Non Dosé
Region: Saumur < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Chenin Blanc
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Turonian limestone and tuffeau soil. Certified organic and biodynamic since 1998, no chemicals used in the vineyards, hand harvesting with many trips through the vineyards to select grapes at optimal ripeness. Aged on its lees for seven years before disgorgement, minimal sulfur.
Winemaker: Phillippe Gourdon
Philippe Gaudron is not your typical natural wine vigneron. Well past middle age, he doesn’t fit the typical profile of a young, brash renegade. In reality, he’s old enough to be the father of many of his contemporaries, and this new generation of winemakers has Philippe to thank for paving the way for their success. The two do share a common thread – questioning authority and challenging the status quo. Philippe and his wife, Françoise were at the forefront of organic and biodynamic farming trends when they bought their land in 1990, and Philippe became an outspoken proponent of this way of vineyard working, as well as traditional, hands-off winemaking. As a result, he and his wines fell out of favor with the AOC system, although the important thing – the wine in the bottle – remains top notch, terroir-driven and unique. The Saumur Brut is a prime example. Made via the traditional method, it is vintage dated and aged on its lees for seven years (longer than most Champagnes!) This gives it incredible depth and creaminess, with brioche, white flowers and apple on the palate, and a nutty note on the finish. Bone dry and gorgeous, it’s a special occasion wine without the price tag to go with it!