France: Loire Valley

West of Tours and Saumur

The wines of Chinon, Bourgueil and Saumur
By Jim Budd

This Guide was last updated on 19 April 2011
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Château de Villeneuve

Address: 3 Rue Jean Brevet, 49400 Souzay Champigny
Tel: 02 41 51 14 04  Fax: 02 41 50 58 24
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 47:14:4N (47.23434)    Longitude: -0:0:20W (-0.00548) 

Jean-Pierre Chevallier took over the reins here in 1982 and has made Château de Villeneuve, which the Chevallier family bought in 1969, into one of the Loire’s top estates. Jean-Pierre is meticulous both in the vineyard and the winery. Grapes destined for the top white and red cuvées are carefully sculptured to produce perfect bunches.  Le Grand Clos is the top Saumur Champigny. It comes from a single vineyard and is aged for around 16 months, depending on the vintage, in new and once used barrels. Le Grand Clos, especially from years like 1996 and 2005, ages extremely well and will easily last 20 years or more. In poor years like 1998 and 2004 Jean-Pierre declassifies le Grand Clos and his Vieilles Vignes and releases only one Saumur-Champigny. Jean-Pierre’s Les Cormiers, his top Saumur Blanc (100% Chenin) is equally fine. Fermented and then aged in 500-litre barrels for nearly a year, Les Cormiers is a rich and complex wine that highlights the potential of Chenin Blanc on the limestone around Saumur.

Useful information: Open Monday to Saturday from 09.00-12.00 and 14.00-18.00.


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