Nicolas Joly, 2023 Update

If I were to draw up a shortlist of the Loire Valley’s greatest vineyards, there is no doubt that the Clos de la Coulée de Serrant would be included. Indeed, such is the potential and the renown of this clos that it may even enjoy a podium position, among the top three. The identities of its various contenders are up for debate; Les Monts Damnés in Sancerre, surely, or (bearing in mind this is about the potential of the vineyard, not the quality or renown enjoyed by its wines) the oft-overlooked Clos de la Poussie? Perhaps La Croix Boissée in Chinon? Or some slice of the Quarts de Chaume appellation? Take your pick. But a top-three finish for the Clos de la Coulée de Serrant is surely guaranteed.

I recall the first time I walked among the vines of the Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, too many years ago now. It seemed to me there was a sense of magic to the place, although this feeling perhaps reflected my knowledge of the site’s history, soils and potential as much as any mystical aura it might possess. Nevertheless, the unyielding nature of the bare schist rock underfoot, the rise and fall of the landscape, and the glistening waters of the Loire close by, all have some effect on vinously tinged emotions.

Nicolas Joly's 2021 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant

This is perhaps not the most tidy vineyard you are likely to set eyes upon. But nor should it be. A hands-off, organic and biodynamic approach may be good for the soil, but it can leave the vineyard looking rather wild at times (if the sheep have not been in to graze recently, anyway). But that’s all fine provided the quality of the wine is up to scratch.

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