Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, Monopole Coulée de Serrant 2021
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Type Chenin BlancRead About the Wine
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Nicolas Joly, whose family owns Coulée de la Serrant in the Savennières region of the Loire Valley, is the world’s most celebrated exponent of biodynamic viticulture. Nicolas conducts sought-after seminars for winegrowers, whose lists of attendees read like a who’s who in the world of wine. But the path to his celebrity status and the accolades his wines receive began a lifetime ago.
“I was trained to be a banker, but I turned out to be a winegrower,” says Nicolas. In 1977, he returned to his family’s wine estate, where he received a visit from the chamber of agriculture. “They told me that my mother had been running the estate well, but in an old-fashioned way, and it was now time for some modernity. I was told that if I started using weed killers, I’d save 14,000 francs. Within two years, I realized that the color of the soil was changing. Insects like ladybirds were no longer there. All the partridges had gone.” Nicolas says the state of his vineyards was like an endless winter, devoid of life even at the height of summer. Then he read a book on biodynamics. “I wasn’t attracted to the green movement,” Nicolas says, “but this book fascinated me, and I had the crazy idea of trying to practice this concept.”
What began as an experiment evolved into a way of life for Nicolas, his family, and their estate.
The Clos de la Coulée de Serrant has its own AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée), all of which is owned by Nicolas and his family. In 1130, Cistercian monks planted the site around their monastery as a vineyard, and its seven hectares have been cultivated ever since. The vineyard features south-facing steep slopes of schist and quartz, which render a wine without parallel in intensity and complexity. Coulée de Serrant is, quite simply, one of the greatest dry white wines in France, if not the world.