Lionel Gosseaume, 2018 Update

The second of this week’s tasting reports from the Touraine appellation brings a change of pace. After yesterday’s examination of the latest releases from Domaine de la Charmoise, a domaine with a long history, one rooted in the early 20th century, we come today to a vigneron who struck out on a very different path. Lionel Gosseaume was born to a family of vignerons, a clan based in Choussy, another settlement in the Sologne, lying about 15 kilometres to the west of Soings-en-Sologne and Domaine de la Charmoise. Indeed, Lionel is a fourth-generation vigneron; the only fly in the ointment was that having developed absolutely no interest in the vine or the family’s wines, he originally left home in pursuit of a career in large-scale agriculture, leaving his brother Thierry to inherit the family domaine.

With time, however, Lionel ultimately felt the pull of the Sologne and its vines. In 2007 he returned home, and he ended up buying the domaine that neighboured that of his family. which had belonged to an old vigneron named Popineau. As a result Lionel took control of 7 hectares of vines, initially tending these in his spare time, holding onto a day job to pay the bills. In 2010 he left this other job behind, and the Touraine appellation had another shining light in its midst.

Lionel Gosseaume

My first encounter with the wines of Lionel Gosseaume was relatively recent, certainly so when compared with when I first tasted the wines of Henry Marionnet. The amorphous and multifaceted Touraine appellation repays exploration; if you kick enough stones you are sure to find something of interest. It was through kicking around in this manner that one day, at the Salon des Vins de Loire in fact, I stumbled onto the wines of Lionel Gosseaume. His is a very measured portfolio, comprising some cuvées in a very straight Touraine style, featuring Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and the like, along with a number of Climat wines, single-parcel cuvées featuring unusual and long-lost varieties such as Meslier-Saint-François, as in Climat No. 1, and also vibrant, structured and seductive blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Côt, as in Climat No. 3. These are unique wines which are certainly worth seeking out.

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