Domaine du Collier Saumur Blanc
...VALLEY OF WHITE STONE...
We have a category on our menu at Rebel Rebel, ‘Special Sauce’. People ask: “What does it mean, special sauce?”. This Collier Chenin has been sitting in that category the past few days. I love pouring it for folx because their faces do these amazing things when it gets in their mouths. Underripe pineapple, those green eyes on the pineapple… that’s what I taste, and ice cream! green pineapple ice cream (I’m channeling the ‘90s gastrophysics movement, it’d actually be a foam, probably). This wine is delightfully deep. It’s more than that, it’s damn sexy and everyone that asks about ‘Special Sauce’ has a taste and ends up with a whole glass.
Antoine Foucault worked with his father, Charly, and uncle, Nady, of the famous Clos Rougeard, in Saumur-Champigny. In ‘99 Antoine & Caroline Boireau (married to Antoine) established Domaine du Collier. They make wine in Breze, which is in Saumur, which is in Anjou, which is in the Loire Valley. The Loire River runs through the valley. Chenin blanc originated here in Loire, in Anjou, in fact, in the 9th century.
The old-ish chenin vines (25 - 75 years) work through the limestone soil, called tuffeau here. A note about tuffeau: that milky white stone that is the iconic Loire architecture, both quaint and noble, simultaneously. It is the local limestone. It was mined heavily in the 15th century (many wine cellars in Anjou & the wider Loire are made of tuffeau). Tuffeau was formed on the floor of the ancient seas around 90 million years ago, in the Mesozoic Era. (If your heart skips a beat to think looking at the face of a building is a window to an ancient sea 90 million years ago: YOU’RE ALIVE.) The tuffeau is made from fossilized living organisms and sand particles that are compressed: shells and tiny foraminifera that 90 million years ago were deposited in shallow water in the ancient ocean. (Again, is your heart racing like mine is?!)
Antoine & Caroline only make about 1250 cases of wine a vintage. Often their wines spend 2 years in elevage; it’s special to say the least. They are practicing organic and stringent with treating their land naturally, without chemicals, same goes for the cellar practices. All the work is done by hand, wild/naturally occurring yeasts only, vinification happens underground in the their very chilly ~10th century cave.
Come to Rebel Rebel & taste it.