2020 La Porte Saint Jean Saumur-Champigny, Loire Valley, France
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ABOUT THIS WINE
Grown on soil consisting of sandy clay and silt on Turonian (Tours-limestone), these vines date back to 1975. Fermented in closed concrete tanks with 3 weeks infusion (really careful maceration to not extract the harsh tannins you can get from Cabernet Franc). Aged for 20 months in old barriques before bottling.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Sylvain Dittiere, nicknamed “TonTon”, grew up in Saumur where his parents were growing roses. After studying oenology, he interned with Gerard Gauby, Marc Tempe, Thierry Germain, and Antoine Foucault.
Upon returning to the Loire in 2010, Sylvain started La Porte Saint-Jean. He was able to find a vineyard in Saumur-Champigny that was organically farmed and yields that were no more than 40hl/ha. The Cabernet Franc is planted on sand, silt, and clay with a subsoil of limestone. From this parcel, he crafts two cuvees; La Porte Saint Jean & Les Beaugrands. Recently, Sylvain added 2 more vineyards; Les Cormiers planted with Cabernet Franc in the AOC Saumur and his white parcel planted with old vines of Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc respectively called Saut Mignon and La Perlee.
Sylvain makes no concessions; the work in the vineyards is intense and precise to reach each year's ripeness and balance. As well, the detailed-oriented “TonTon” makes a strict sorting. In terms of vinification, all natural with a bit of SO2 at the end bottled without filtration or fining, the aging takes place in a combination of used barrels from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhone.
Clearly, within a few years, Sylvain has become one of the most talented vintners in the region.