Hiding in Plain Sight: 2015 Domaine du Collier

Posted on: 09/24/19 7:32 PM

We’ve received a small parcel of incredible cult Loire wine in our cellar. With a production of just under 1,200 cases a year, any sighting of Domaine du Collier is a deeply exciting one. Allocations of these wines are extremely hard to come by and most of these wines released to America often end up in only a few lucky cellars. Not today.

So, what makes this wine so special? Antoine Foucault is the son of the late Charly Foucault of the famed Foucault brothers behind Clos Rougeard. Antoine cut his teeth at the legendary Loire estate and you can tell– the wines are unbelievable. Vividly powerful with pure mineral and succulent fruit, Charpentrie astounds with its detail, precision and body. No one in America except for a handful are able to taste Rougeard (RIP). Yet hiding here in plain sight is one of the truly great wines of France. Complex and powerful without lacking nuance and detail, Domaine du Collier’s wines are utterly mesmerizing with their uniqueness and power. The only problem? Very little precious wine.

2015 was a sensational vintage for the Loire, so please act fast if you want to experience some of the best bottles coming out of the Loire right now from this special estate.

2015 Domaine du Collier Saumur Blanc

This is from all of his Chenin vines not in Charpentrie. Predominantly in and around the Ripaille site. Vines aged 25 to 75 years. Generally, this wine is a little less dense than the Charpentrie. Slightly more ethereal and less powerful.

2015 Domaine du Collier Saumur Blanc ‘La Charpentrie’ 

From vines aged well over 100 years in the Charpentrie vineyard. These are vines that were destined to be pulled out before Antoine purchased them. Stunning density and complexity.

2015 Domaine du Collier Saumur Rouge ‘La Ripaille’ 

From vines aged 30 to 60 years. This vineyard always produces huge acidity. Bright and high toned.

2015 Domaine du Collier Saumur Rouge ‘La Charpentrie’ 

From vines aged well over 100 years in the Charpentrie vineyard. The old vines and the terroir of Charpentrie produce a great push/pull of density and lift. Powerful yet graceful wine.

More About the Wine

The Collier wines and the Rougeard wines have a lot in common: a Foucault makes both; both hail from the region of Brézé; and both share the same cellar (i.e. Antoine shares the famously cold, deep Rougeard cellar for his Collier wines). In regards to winemaking, there are even greater similarities: organic viticulture; natural fermentations; large barrels for élévage; no S02 until bottling, etc. Virtually identical to the practices at Clos Rougeard. However, the difference here is that Rougeard’s reputation was built on Cabernet Franc, whereas Collier’s reputation is built on Chenin, with such a marvelous, nearly magical parcel called Ripaille on the chalk and tuffeau-rich hill of Brézé. Don’t worry, Antoine excels at both. Let’s just say, if you someone was kind enough to present me a bottle of Collier at the table, my first thought wouldn’t be red or white–in fact, that’s the last thing on my mind, because both are absolute gems. The Chenins are layered and yet light and hinting at a sweetness that never comes on the palate, but is only suggested in the sugared fruit. Beautifully mineral and seductively suave, the wines are as challenging as they are satisfying. But the Cabernet Franc’s are equally enjoyable: earthy, savory, and hinting at barnyard, yet equally polished. The rare red that somehow is both rustic and yet elegant. 

Don’t miss this very special opportunity for some very special wines!

Posted in Daily Flash By Tim Sellon