Domaine de la Combe 'Reserve Personell' 2019
Producer: Pierre-Henri Gadais
Notes: Pierre-Henri Gadais is fifth generation winemaker on the ‘island’ of Saint-Fiacre–which sits at the wishbone of France’s Sèvre and Maine rivers. Gadais’s family vineyards, some dating back almost 100 years, are mostly made up of Muscadet. This varietal was born in Burgundy in the 13th century and then it traveled to the Loire in the 16th century where Dutch traders sought it in high demand. Gadais has been making wine since 2016 and tirelessly worked to make the family estate biodynamic by 2021.
'The grapes in Reserve Personell, stemming from the oldest vines in the estate (fifty years old vines), are harvested by hand, without any sulfur, under the press; the free run of the juice is carried out by gravity and under an inert gas environment, in the traditional glass-tile buried tanks, which are typical of the Nantes region. A twelve-hour rapid settling allows me to keep natural nutrients and yeasts, essential for alcoholic fermentation. A twenty-day fermentation combined with a control of the temperatures makes it possible to render the best expression of the terroir. Once the fermentation is complete, the addition of sulfur combined with tannins (free of taste), provides a better stability. The dose of sulfur is always calculated according to the SO2 molecular formula; the characteristics of the vintage are taken into account and calculated according to such parameters as pH, total acidity, degree of alcohol, and wine temperature. Thus, sulfur is added in the right quantity and in a single dose, and we do not have any excess sulfur which would prevent the full rendering of the aromas of the wine. Throughout the winter, regular lees stirring optimizes the contact with the lees. As is the tradition, I don’t carry out any malolactic fermentation. La Réserve Personnelle is bottled in December of the year following its harvest, i.e. globally after fourteen-month aging on the winemaking lees in buried tanks. The outcome is a rich, concentrated and complex wine, which is well suited for cellar-keeping. In the best vintages, this cuvee can be kept for fifteen years under good conditions.' -- Pierre-Henri Gadais