1989 Domaine Les Roches (Alain et Jerome Lenoir) Chinon #152072593


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Jerome Lenoir in the vineyard

About Domaine Les Roches (Alain et Jerome Lenoir)

Domaine Les Roches, located in Chinon, is a small family estate that produces exceptional wines from Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. With a total vineyard size of 4 hectares and an annual production of 6000 to 7000 cases, this domaine focuses on crafting pure, rustic, and traditional wines that showcase the region's unique terroir.

The vineyards of Domaine Les Roches are situated in Beaumont en Veron, on the same hill as the renowned Les Picasses vineyard, and just above their tuffeau cellar. The terroir here is characterized by poor, limestone-rich soils known as tuffeau, with very little topsoil, only around 20 centimeters. Most of the Cabernet Franc vines are over 50 years old, some approaching 100 years, and are predominantly Franc de Pied, original French rootstock, with additional clones added to the mix. The Chenin Blanc parcel is over 100 years old and exclusively Franc de Pied.

Winemaker Jerome Lenoir follows the traditional winemaking methods of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, dating back to 1900. The winemaking is characterized by manual harvest and destemming of the grapes before quickly transporting them to the cellar to minimize oxidation. The red wines, made from Cabernet Franc, undergo a very long elevage, often spending more than three years in a variety of very old barrels, where they undergo punch-downs with a pestle before being bottled and aged for a couple more years before release. The white wine, produced in limited quantities, also experiences extensive elevage in older wood barrels and foudres. Both red and white wines are naturally fermented with indigenous yeasts and are bottled with minimal sulfur added.

The resulting wines from Domaine Les Roches exhibit a distinct minerality and earthiness, accompanied by aromas of barnyard funk, iron, red berries, red flowers, dried herbs, and earth. The reds are lighter, softer, and more feminine compared to others in the appellation, and they are released later than most wines in the region.

Domaine Les Roches wines represent authenticity and tradition, offering a unique expression of the Chinon terroir. With a commitment to organic viticulture, meticulous winemaking practices, and a dedication to extended elevage, this small family estate produces wines of exceptional quality and character.

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