Thierry Puzelat, 2014 Update

To many drinkers who hold an interest in the wines of the Loire Valley, Thierry Puzelat will need no introduction. Indeed, in certain circles he holds something akin to cult status, the crunchy rusticity and vibrant honesty of his wines enough to win over inquiring palates and minds. His work, both with the Puzelat family’s vines which exist under the Clos de Tue-Boeuf umbrella, or with the Puzelat-Bonhomme négociant wines (more news on developments here below), has firmly established him as a serious presence in the region, especially as viewed by those with a preference for low levels of intervention in the winery, or ‘natural’ wines as they are often called. He has been instrumental in preserving many plots of aged indigenous varieties, such as Romorantin or Menu Pineau, which would perhaps otherwise have been pulled up or left to grow wild as their owners grew old and retired. It is safe to say that the Loire Valley, especially the little narrowing isthmus of land that lies between the Loire and the Cher as the two approach one another, would not be what it is today were it not for Thierry Puzelat.

Thierry Puzelat

Despite this, the wines of Thierry remain a niche interest. This is not a ‘break-through’ domaine like Domaine Huet or Domaine des Baumard; you will not find articles on the Thierry and his brother Jean-Marie in mainstream wine publications, and you will find them on only the most particular restaurant lists. This fact reflects the esoteric nature of these wines, the crunchy-spiky fruit, the occasionally funky flavours, and the bruised apple aromas that surely reflect the restrained use of sulphur dioxide. They are wines worth experiencing, and when they are good they can be very good, refreshing, bracing even, and always honest. They are wines which, on occasion, I have added to my own cellar.

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