Damien Laureau

Loire Valley (Savennieres), France
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“Damien Laureau is one of the young stars in the schist-soil Savennières appellaton. Made from low yielding, partly very old vines and perfectly ripe and healthy, hand-picked grapes, his wines combine richness and natural concentration with freshness, finesse and mineral tension.” Stephan Reinhardt

In only a few short years Damien Laureau has built a reputation as one of the elite producers in this prestigious appellation. Working out of a small shed, Damien Laureau is not exactly what one would call a “typical” Savennières winemaker. Fruit extracts and other non-synthetic treatments are used on the vines in place of chemicals. Damien seeks to foster living vines, with wildlife and indigenous plants sharing the space with his healthy vines of Chenin Blanc.

Damien is starting to experiment with harvesting just when the grapes turn yellow (instead of the traditional Savennieres “green grapes”) to take advantage of the richness from the sun. At the same time, he is careful not to pick too late to avoid a high level of botrytis in the harvest. As a result, the wines are a beautiful balance of richness, concentration, lively acidity, and length. Yields are very low (an average of 35 hl/ha is quite common while most harvest at around 50 hl/ha.)

Called “undoubtedly the future star of Savennieres” by France’s “La Revue de Vin de France,” Damien is quietly carving out his own style with some of the most extraordinary terroir in the world. These are world-class white wines.