Domaine des Sables Verts

Loire, loire France

Caroline Meurée & Hervé Malinge are a young winemaking couple who met while studying in Bordeaux. Despite neither of them being from the Loire Valley, in 2019 they bought Domaine des Sables Verts in the heart of Saumur Champigny and embarked on their first vintage. The domaine comprises 16 hectares of vines across 5 communes (Varrains, Chacé, Saumur, Souzay-Champigny and Parnay) which they intend to work organically in order to maintain the soil diversity. The vines lie on deep clay-limestone soils that are rich in tuffeau and green sand, or ‘sables verts’, which inspired the name of the domaine. Fifteen hectares are planted with Cabernet Franc and just one with Chenin Blanc.

Caroline and Hervé take a minimalist intervention approach in the winery. The name ‘Glouglou’ is a play on words, referring to the ‘glug glug’ sound when someone pours a drink. Sourced from four different parcels of Cabernet Franc, the grapes for ‘Glouglou’ are hand-harvested and are then transferred into vats by gravity, where they undergo a short maceration for three days. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel and the blend is aged for a further five months in stainless steel before bottling. The wine displays enticing, fragrant notes of juicy raspberry and redcurrant fruit, with supple tannins and a crisp finish.

‘Les Poyeux’ is Caroline and Herve’s first single-vineyard Saumur Champigny, coming from one of the Loire’s most famous red wine sites. They own 1.8 hectares in ‘Les Poyeux’, with vines planted in the 1950s on deep silica-limestone soils. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks using indigenous yeasts before being aged in barrel for 11 months. It reveals layers of ripe blackcurrant and blueberry alongside soft, velveteen tannins. The texture is full and rounded, supported by a fine interplay between sweet spice and brilliant freshness.

The grapes for the Saumur Blanc come from three separate parcels. The specific plots of ‘Bonneveaux’ and ‘Elettes’, which make up about 50% of the blend, are vinified and aged for four months in used French oak barrels, with regular bâtonnage. The other half comes from the ‘Rouères’ parcel, which is vinified in stainless steel, before the final blend is assembled and bottled in January. Characterised by layers of fresh citrus notes and ripe apricot, the wine is beautifully textured with a backbone of lively acidity. We are delighted to be starting with the very first vintage of these wines under Caroline and Hervé.


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