Centre-Loire > IGP Côtes de la Charité
IGP Côtes de la Charité
IGP dated 2011
Location: The historic Côtes de La Charité vineyards lie in the Nièvre department, chiefly in the more remote villages of La Celle-sur-Nièvre, Nannay, Chasnay, Chaulgnes, Parigny-les-Vaux and La Charité-sur-Loire.
Vineyard area: 50 ha.
History: In the middle ages, the vineyards were developed under the auspices of the great Benedictine monasteries at La Charité-sur-Loire and Bourras. Wines were shipped out to the north of France and Europe, where they were served at the court of the Dukes of Burgundy in Paris and Arras. The vineyards flourished, remaining both famous and prosperous until the 19th century, at which time they covered a total of 1,300 ha. But the phylloxera crisis took its toll, as did the loss of human life in the First World War. In 1980, a new winegrowers’ syndicate was established to revitalise the vineyards, and in 1986 the area was classified as Vin de Pays des Coteaux Charitois.
2011 saw a number of reforms in French wine classifications, however, and this Vin de Pays became the new Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP) Côtes de La Charité.
Soils: Major fault lines running north-south through the region, along with the effects of erosion, have created a distinctive topography, featuring steep slopes, high altitudes and good sun exposure.
Sedimentary subsoils dating from the mid-Jurassic comprise layers of limestone and marl, and these in turn create chalky clay soils of great complexity.
Average annual production over the last 5 years: 1,300 hl.
Whites: 800 hl,
Reds: 500 hl,
Rosés: 100 hl.
Varietals: White wines are chiefly made from Chardonnay with an increasing proportion of Pinot Gris.
Reds are made mainly from Pinot Noir as a single varietal.
Rosés are made from Pinot Noir.
Whites: IGP Côtes de la Charité whites show a distinctive elegance: very floral on the nose with notes of dried fruit and butter. Young wines are generous and fruity, but also have a remarkable aging capacity; after a few years in the cellar the true flavors of the terroir begin to shine through.
Reds: These are ruby-red in colour with aromas of red fruit and forest floor, and a fruit-driven palate of blackcurrant and cherry with notes of spice and liquorice. Reds reach their peak after 3-4 years’ aging.
Rosés or gris: These are crisp on the attack,with a good mix of roundness and freshness, and good length of flavor.