We are thrilled to work with Philippe Alliet, one of the icons of the Loire Valley. It’s a real privilege to be able to source these highly sought after wines, which originate from his small 17 hectares estate in Cravant-les-Côteaux, the location of some of the finest Cabernet Franc vineyards in the Loire. Inspired by his love for top Bordeaux, Philippe’s goal is to make wines that share the same concentration, density and power using low yields, optimally ripe fruit and full destemming of the grapes. All of his cuvées show great purity and balance and we are convinced that they have the ability to age for a decade or more.
Philippe established his domaine in 1985 with his wife Claude, reuniting various parcels of vines that had previously been divided by his maternal grandfather on his retirement. He is dedicated to fastidious vineyard management, run according to organic principles. Their son Pierre is increasingly learning to master his craft, by working alongside his parents. The initial 8 hectares of vineyards that Philippe inherited from his grandfather are all located on the plain around the hamlet of Briançon, an area not renowned for the longevity of the wines it produces. However, his gravelly soils plot has an average vine age of 50 years and Philippe’s great attention to detail and care when tending to his vines has resulted in the superb ‘Vieilles Vignes’ cuvée. Aged in 5-year-old barriques for 9-12 months, it was this wine that helped to secure Alliet’s stellar reputation in the appellation from the start.
Philippe Alliet eventually wanted to expand his vineyard holdings beyond the plain and started to explore the more serious slopes of Chinon to achieve his ultimate goal: producing ageworthy, premium cuvées of outstanding merit. The opportunity came in the early 1990s, when he purchased land in the Coteau de Noiré, a superbly situated hillside vineyard east of Chinon, upstream between Chinon and Cravant-les-Côteaux. Here there is an east-west slope of limestone, which is very favourable for vines, as the soils are poor and the south-facing aspect gives excellent exposure to the sun. Although 1 hectare had been established in the early 1980s, the remainder of this steep south-facing slope was planted in 1996. The resulting wine is matured in new barriques for 12-18 months.
By 2000, the domaine comprised 9 hectares of vines. He added to this in 2001 with the acquisition and planting of the 2 hectares ‘L’Huisserie’ on the argilo-siliceux soils that adjoin Le Clos Guiollot on the Chinon-Cravant border and not too far from the Coteau de Noiré. Some of Philippe’s young vine fruit is also set aside for the production of his ‘straight’ Chinon Tradition – a wine of great purity and balance made to be consumed young.