Touraine, Loire, France
Christophe Foucher makes brilliant natural wines from his 5.5 hectares of vines in Couffy in the Loire Valley. He is located near St Aignan on the southern bank of the Cher River growing Sauvignon Blanc, Menu Pineau (Arbois), Cabernet Franc, Cöt (Malbec) and Gamay. His farming is organic and he makes his wines completely without sulfites or other additives. Before he began his project in 2000 Christophe taught engineering but caught the wine bug after working alongside is father-in-law in his wife’s family’s vineyards. In 2001 he converted the vineyards to biodynamics and became engrossed in the world of natural wines. Though his vineyards would be classified as AOC Tourraine, Christophe is disgusted at the quantities of chemicals permitted by the AOC so he doesn’t participate, preffering the Vin de France (VdF) Label.
The vineyards rest on a huge mix of soil types including clay, sand, flint and silex. He relies heavily on cover crop rotation in the vineyard and uses only small doses of copper sulfate (Bordeaux mix) to fight mildew in this humid region.
White grapes are directly pressed and gravity fed into vat for natural fermentation. As soon as fermentation begins the wines are transferred to barrel where they stay for a total of two years, racked only once after the first year to get the wine off some solids. Gamay undergoes whole-cluster, carbonic maceration and his Cabernet Franc wines are partially destemmed with light pump overs. The wines are all fermented with natural yeast, see no sulfur and are bottled by hand unfined and unfiltered.
Sauvignon Blanc from vines just east of the Clos Roche Blanche in Touraine. Pale gold color with aromas of dried pear, citrus peel, exotic fruit and herbs. The palate is dense with candied pear and apple, citrus, stone and caramel. Very long with saline minerals and firm acidity.
Menu Pineau from very low-yielding vineyards above the Cher river, near St Aignan in Touraine. Intense dried flower and herbal aromas of Menu Pineau with a ripe, dense palate of citrus and mineral and a long finish. Unique and delicious.
Gamay from his vineyards in Tourraine. Aromas of wild rasberries and pepper on the nose, subtle tart cherry fruit and some serious minerality to boot. It's bright, fresh and extremely easy to drink.
Cabernt Franc that is partially destemmed yelding a slightly denser, but still high drinkeable wine with red and darker fruit, spicey minerality and refreshing
Ellement Wine & Spirits