Renaud Guettier has close to 6ha of vineyards in the Coteaux-du-Loir. He is north of Tours, and about 25 minutes south of the Robinots (who he is good friends with and consults with regularly). He is the only person with vineyards in the area – many were ripped out years ago to plant other crops. He began in 2004, and works mainly with old vine Chenin Blanc and Pineau d’Aunis, with a miniscule amount of Gamay and Grolleau. He planted vines between 2005 and 2010, but most of the vines are extremely old, over 100 years in some cases. For example, Chenin planted in 1902 and Pineau d’Aunis planted in 1904. The soils are made up of clay and limestone, but particularly silex, which gives the wines an intense minerality, especially with his Chenin. He farms organically, and does everything by hand. On the side, he also farms around 100ha of organic crops such as wheat and rapeseed.
Renaud vinifies each parcel separately in his new (but very small) winery. The wines are then fed by gravity to his underground cellar, where they age in old wooden casks of various sizes. The ferments can sometimes take a year to complete, and Renaud usually prefers to age majority of his wines for around 2 years. These long slow ferments and long ageing contribute to both stability and complexity, making for wines of serious interest and with the potential to age long-term. All his wines are made without additions, zero sulfites, and are never fined or filtered.
I have tasted Renaud’s wines over the years, but I was particularly blown away at La Dive Bouteille in 2019. They were airy and haunting, and at the same time gentle and soothing. The precision and drive in his Chenin’s was absolutely incredible. There was an intense mineral core, and the wines were electric, with laser like acidity. These were by far some of the best examples of Chenin I had ever come across. I immediately knew I had to bring these wines to Australia, and with an on the spot great reference from Reynald Héaulé, plus the great connection between us, Renaud said it was possible.
Due to low quantities and extreme international demand, I was only able to secure some cuvées, and unfortunately no Pineau d’Aunis. However, there will be some available in the future. For now I have the following available: