Saumur > Saumur Puy-Notre-Dame
See production specifications for AOP Saumur
Location: Puy-Notre-Dame lies 20km south of Saumur, and is the region’s highest point.
The boundaries of the Saumur Puy-Notre- Dame appellation are strictly defined: the area extends over 17 communes, although the greater part lies in the communes of Puy- Notre-Dame, Vaudelnay and Brossay.
The terroir here is eminently suited to the production of exceptional vins de garde (long-lived wines), the climate is remarkably dry, and the area has a long history and tradition of making wine. Vines are planted at an average altitude of 80m above sea level, affording them protection from spring frosts.
The Massif des Mauges mountain range lies 40km to the west, sheltering the region from a much of the local rainfall, which in turn promotes healthy ripeness in the Cabernet Franc grapes. These are harvested in October, and are particularly suited to producing high quality vins de garde.
Vineyard area: 60 ha.
History: For over 800 years, the Collégiale du Puy-Notre-Dame church has looked out over an ocean of vines stretching across some 1,500 hectares – a high point both geographically and spiritually. This was one of the holiday spots frequented by Eleanor of Aquitaine, and has been a winegrowing village since the reign of the Plantagenets in the 12th century. The architectural splendour of the area’s housing is testament to its wealthy past; immense cellars are used to store red wines with excellent aging potential.
Average annual production over the last 5 years: 2,100 hl.
Base yield: 50 hl/ha.
Varietals: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon (15% maximum
Growing practices: Minimum planting density: 4,500 vines per hectare. Natural grassing or tilling of at least 50% of the surface area.
Controlled natural grassing of the headland; shoot thinning; mandatory traceability of every plot; each plot in the appellation must be taken on for a three-year period.
Production conditions are inspected, on-site, in July and September.
Wine release: 1st June
Saumur Puy-Notre-Dam is an intensely- coloured red wine with good structure, balance and power. Aromas are predominantly of red and black fruit, and the wines have excellent persistence of flavor, as one would expect in a vin de garde.
Aging potential: Saumur Puy-Notre-Dame wines can be drunk when young, but their complexity is better appreciated after several years aging (5-10 yrs.).