Clau de Nell
Clau de Nell is located in the Loire Valley wine region of Anjou, southeast of Angers and northwest of Saumur, in the village of Ambillou-Chateau. The vineyards range in age up to 100 years old and are situated on a south-facing knoll. The property consists of 12 contiguous hectares. The soil is sandstone grit and red flint over tuffeau. The vineyard is on a slope at an altitude of just 90m, 120km from the Atlantic Ocean.
These vineyards have been biodynamically cultivated since 2000. Significant financial difficulties and a call for aid from the previous proprietors brought the property to Anne-Claude Leflaive’s attention. In 2006, Anne-Claude and her husband, Christian Jacques, had created a company to help new biodynamic wine growers take advantage of their established commercial network. In order to assist the struggling venture, in 2008 they purchased the domaine, which had not produced any wine for three years due to lack of means. It was a moment of serendipity for the abandoned vineyards and the Leflaive-Jacques family, culminating with the arrival of Sylvain Potin, well-versed in biodynamic viticulture, to be their estate manager. Christian Jacques concludes that, “We have not chosen Clau de Nell, so much as Clau de Nell has chosen us!”
Deeply personal, tightly allocated, and easily some of the most coveted wines of the Loire, each wine is a star in its own right.