Couly-Dutheil, 2019 Update

Head of what is surely the best-known and most widely appreciated domaine in the appellation, Arnaud Couly of Couly-Dutheil today owns tends 90 hectares of vineyard in Chinon. This amounts to approximately 4% of the entire appellation, a not insignificant slice, and he also has a few hectares further afield, specifically in Saumur. Few domaines in the appellation can challenge this, although the combined estates of Baudry-Dutour, which includes Château de la Grille, Château de Saint Louans, Domaine du Roncée and Domaine de la Perrière, may well come close.


Despite this domaine’s expansive size, there are still wines of interest made here. While the entry-level cuvées such as Les Gravières are unlikely to cause your heart to skip a beat, once you look away from the large-scale blends and lesser terroirs to the smaller single-parcel cuvées (or in the case of the Clos de l’Echo, a restricted selection from a larger vineyard), which usually means a move from alluvial soils to clay and limestone, the wines are considerably more interesting. While Baronnie Madeleine is noteworthy, and the Clos de l’Olive should not be overlooked, it is the two cuvées from the Clos de l’Echo which have the strongest pull.

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