After years as a chef in New York, Laurent Saillard fell in love with the places his produce was grown. This honest connection to the land, coupled with his enthusiasm for Natural Wines and holistic farming inspired him to move to the Loire Valley, where he started a miniscule domaine. He began working with Noella Morantin and Junko Arai, renting a tiny plot of vines and room in their cellars to make his own project on his days off.
His first vintage was in 2012 and since then he has sold almost all his wine to his restaurant friends in New York (In particular Wildair, Contra, Four Horsemen). He has since doubled his vineyard holdings (now 6ha) yet still works the vines by hand all by himself.
2017 LUCKY YOU
The grapes for this cuvée come from a section of Clos Roche Blanche plated in 1973. The cépage is roughly 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Chardonnay. The grapes are whole cluster pressed into stainless steel where the juice ferments slowly until the spring. Malolactic conversion took place before the wine was fully dry. It is bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal additional Sulphur. 14% ABV
This year, Laurent felt the vintage wasn’t appropriate to make a Pet-Nat, so he blended the Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) that usually ends up as a bubbly rosé in with his Cabernet Franc (80%). The grapes were destemmed and fermented in tronconic foudres. The wine was eventually pressed off and aged in the same vat for several months before bottling. 11.5% ABV
2017 LA PAUSE
This cuvée is made from Gamay Noir, from vines planted in 1978. Whole clusters are put into open top foudres and permitted to ferment with minimal pigeage and über gentle ‘pump overs’ (they fill a bucket with siphoned off juice and pour it over the cap). The wine is then pressed off and undergoes élevage in foudre as well. It is bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal additional sulphur. 13% ABV