Andrew Guard

2019 Vin de France 'Dolia', Clos de Tue Boeuf

100% Sauvignon - whilst walking around the Tue-Boeuf cellar in February with Thierry and his daughter Zoe, who is taking more and more on at the estate with her Uncle Jean-Marie getting closer to retirement, we got to a part of the cellar that had a few different shaped earthenware vessels, Qvevri and Dolia, that Thierry had specially imported from his good friends in Georgia (he's the agent for basically all top Georgian wine in France) I am always intrigued to try wines aged in these vessels but rarely enamoured by them, finding them broad, coarse and frankly dull. Maybe I am a heathen but we all have our preferences. Indeed we tasted them all and there was one particular wine, in a small conical Dolia, that was the best white wine of the tasting for me. It was clear, bright, fresh and it sizzled in the mouth. Very moreish, I asked for another taste. This is a seriously good and very rare wine that will bring smiles all round.

Clos de Tue-Bœuf is run by two brothers, Jean-Marie and Thierry Puzelat, who tend their 10-hectare family estate in Les Montils (in the Cheverny AOC) and rent 6 hectares in a village nearby, in the Touraine AOC. The brothers were luck, their father had always worked Clos du Tue Boeuf with a very limited range of organic products and so the soils are alive; he also had never machine-harvested his vineyards or used industrial yeasts. The resultant wines are vibrant, translucent, and explosively flavourful and in many ways taste like they are home-made in that they have an honesty, truthfulness and wholesomeness in their flavours.