A Visit to Loire with Thierry Puzelat of Organic Clos du Tue-Boeuf: Part 1 Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc with Summer Squash Tart #Winophiles

Summer in a glass. More than any other wine — that’s what people say about sauvignon blanc.

It truly is an ideal wine for summer: it embodies summer fresh scents of citrus, grass, and white stone fruit, and it pairs so well with summery foods like salads, vegetables, and goat cheese.

That definitely goes for sauvignon blanc from the Loire River Valley, a favorite summer escape from the heated streets of Paris (both the wine and the place!)

While sauvignon blanc may mean summer, to Sue and I it will always be about harvest because we were in the Loire on our way to Chateau Chambord for the World Wine Tasting Championship. It was early October, and harvest was coming to a close, the warm days to an end, and with cool rains falling on us here and there.

The day we visited started out with a drizzly soak in a hot tub outside the “cave” we stayed in followed by a stop at Vincent Careme in Vouvray and an unplanned lunch at Michelin starred Chateau du Pray (read more here and here).

The afternoon quickly warmed– typical fall weather– and by the time we arrived to meet with Thierry Puzelat the afternoon was sunny and warm, idyllic for a visit with this winemaker well known for his commitment to going his own way, conducting experiments, using sustainable practices including organic and biodynamic.  This is what brought us there that day and found us jumping into Theirry’s truck to visit vineyards after we got a quick tour of the winery processing a final load of grapes.

More of this story will have to wait for when we open and write about two red wines, Vin Rouge, a Gamay, and “La Gravotte” a Cheverny AOC pinot noir because today we are focused on two Sauvignon blanc, one from Touraine AOC and the second a blend from Cheverny and Touraine which is NOT ALLOWED so he called it “Vin de France.” (I’m also still nursing a broken wrist And typing with only a couple fingers!) But don’t let that expectation of a simple wine deter you! These are possibly two of the most interesting sauvignon blanc wines I’ve ever had. And I can’t wait to have them again!

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These two Sauvignon Blanc from the same winery could not be any more different. UPDATE: BECAUSE ONE IS CHENIN BLANC!! I was under the impression they were both sauv blanc! No wonder they tasted so different! HA!

In addition these two are in a league all of their own. They are both very special and stand on their own in very different ways.

Menu

  • Fresh Oysters
  • French Fish Head Soup
  • Zucchini Tart (recipe below)
  • Watermelon Prosciutto Basil Salad
  • French baguette

Pineau de la Loire is another name for chenin blanc but who knew except everyone but me…

2018 Clos du Tue-Boeuf “Pineau de la Loire” Vin de France
12.41% ABV
sample

UPDATE: This wine is 100% CHENIN BLANC — “Pineau de la Loire” is another name for Chenin Blanc!! Dang, I feel like a dodo.  No wonder it was so ACIDIC and so different from the Sauv Blanc!  As noted above, I broke my wrist in two places just over two weeks ago. I can barely type. I’m on pain meds, and my arm was so swollen and messed up my doc didn’t even bother casting it in plaster.

So please forgive me that I couldn’t find more details about this wine, BUT it kept bugging me how different this wine was and what did Pineau mean anyway?? Also because of the broken wrist, I was unable to access my notebook with our notes, and I flat out did not remember they were two grapes! I do remember Sue and I were trying to decide which we preferred and couldn’t. DANG. Again please forgive us because that was QUITE A DAY for the books– and we were only halfway through at that point on our way to Chateau Chambord and an incredible dinner with the other teams from around the world and the wines they brought to the table…including a magnum that Thierry Puzelat gave us to share!

Now that I found more details about the wine, it’s made from grapes harvested from 100 year old plus vines grown on clay and limestone soils which are fermented with natural yeasts, then aged with stirring of the lees in oak barrels, and bottled unfiltered.

I AM SO EMBARRASSED! Nearly 100 people have read this post since I published it late last night, about 14 hours ago. At least I am correcting it now.

Color: Lemon yellow

Nose: Minerals and sea grass, very understated nose. Menthol and citrus, silex. The nose on this wine is so subtle. Reminded us of sitting creekside.

Palate: Very tart and acidic up front mellowing nicely on the back of the palate, clean, lemon, meyer lemon, lemon drops. There is a sweetness on the palate and a lot of complexity to this wine. This wine does not scream Sauvignon Blanc, it whispers. UPDATE: because it’s not sauvignon blanc but chenin!

Pairing: Yum, yum, yum Sue kept humming as she was eating her oyster with this wine. Bright acidity and the ocean just belong together. Sue made a French style fish head soup which went beautifully with the wine. Both Sue and I loved it with the watermelon salad–  tart, sweet, herbs, salt, all of it went together so perfectly. The zucchini tart was also beautiful with the wine.

2018 Clos du Tue-Boeuf “Le Buisson Pouilleux” Touraine, Loire
14.16% ABV; SRP $35
sample

UPDATE: Pouilleux translates from French to English as “flea-ridden” or “seedy” or “rundown” while Le Buisson means “bush.”

Vines are mostly 65 years old with some that have been replaced and are younger. Whole cluster pressed, spontaneous fermentation with nature yeasts, aged on lees for a year in old Burgundy barrels, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

In 2019 and on, this will also be known as “Vin de France.”

Color: Yellow gold as in jewelry not the color of a flower. Sparkly and shiny in the glass

Nose: Fruit and flowers, citrus flower, herbs, silex, ponderosa pine

Palate: Clean and refreshing, minty cleanness, candied citron, nice viscosity on the tongue and the roof of the mouth. Bright acidity and the front of the tongue and sides of the mouth.

Pairing: I loved this wine with oysters–so much tang in the finish. It has enough umph to duke it out with the oyster. Sue on the other hand stated it wasn’t her favorite Sauv Blanc with oysters. For her the fruit in the wine took over the pairing and did not let the ocean shine through as much. The two together were very much on the sweet side which can be some  people’s cup of tea.

As much as the French style fish head soup went with the de la Loire, it went even better with the Le Buisson. While both Sue and I loved the watermelon salad with the de la Loire, it was not as great of a pairing with the Le Buisson Pouileux. It was as if the wine was a bit too sweet for the sweet salad. We tried to lay the watermelon on a bed of arugula just out of curiosity. It was a bit better with the bitter arugula; it enjoys the savory elements of the salad.  Beautiful with the zucchini tart’s sweet squash and crust and salty rich cheese.

Learn more about Clos du Tue-Boeuf on their website here, from importer Louis Dresner here or more here from David Bowler.

Best Summer Squash Tart Recipe

Got too much zucchini? Try this savory summer squash tart — pairs so well with sauvignon blanc and chenin blanc! Reheat leftovers in a covered skillet or toaster oven. Great for breakfast, brunch. lunch, happy hour, or dinner!

  • 1 pie crust (homemade is better as some purchased crusts have sugar in them) rolled flat on a cookie sheet (parchment paper optional)
  • 8 ounces goat cheese (we did a combo of 6 ounces grated halloumi from Cypress and 2 ounces chevre
  • 1-2 pounds thinly sliced zucchini salted; set aside for 30 minutes so it won’t be soggy (2-3 zucchini depending on their size — we used 1 each yellow, dark green, and striped green)
  • Sprinkle fresh lemon thyme and pepper.
  • Drizzle olive oil.
  • Bake at 425 for 30 minutes and squash is tender.
  • Slice and serve.

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What five words would you choose? Where would you go?

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For more ideas about summer escapes to the Loire, check out these posts by the other #Winophiles this month. And please join us next month on the third Saturday for Rhone escapes!

 

For more Loire stories here on Wine Predator, check out:

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14 thoughts on “A Visit to Loire with Thierry Puzelat of Organic Clos du Tue-Boeuf: Part 1 Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc with Summer Squash Tart #Winophiles

  1. Those winemakers who want to do something other than what’s allowed in the AOP! I have a Chenin Blanc for this #winophiles round that was also a Vin de France. Nice pairings Gwendolyn!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Savennières and Vouvray: Two Tastes of Loire Valley Chenin Blanc – The Swirling Dervish

  3. Little by little, we get more and more on this visit to the Loire! This was the same trip where you rushed in for that very fancy lunch is it not?
    As always the pairings sound and look amazing! I will be giving that Zuccini tart a try, I need to work on my pastry skills!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Thierry Michon and Domaine Saint Nicolas – Biodynamic Loire Wines - Savor the Harvest

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