100% Cabernet Franc, from a cooler vintage with elegance and acidity. Aged simply in tank from 2017 onwards, this is all about expressing the fruit.
Winemaking: A 50/50 mix of whole bunch and de-stemmed Cab Franc, layered in the tank to create the ‘mille-feuille’ . With very little extraction, closer to an infusion. No pumping over, just a gentle hand press to keep the cap wet.
Sulphur: None added
Soil: The topsoil is clay and glauconite chalk, with many trace elements – particularly iron silicate. The subsoil is chalky tuffeau limestone
Laurent is originally from the Alps, and Pauline from Brittany. They met at engineering school; he is a land-surveyor and Pauline a plastic and materials engineer. They worked for one year as engineers in France but we were not very happy stuck in front of a computer.
They travelled and worked in Australia in different farms and in a winery on the west coast. This is where they fell in love with wine, and where the name L'Austral comes from.
Pauline then studied in Burgundy to become an enologist; during which time Laurent was a ski instructor during winter and sailing instructor during summer to fund the project.
During her first internship, Pauline worked with Mélaric, who introduced them to Françoise and Philippe Gourdon in Le Puy-Notre-Dame, who in turn had vines to lease.
They now work the parcels of Amandiers, 253 and Vigneaux.
The local Tuffeau (fossil-rich limestone) characterises the wines as well as the local architecture, vineyards typically being clay topsoil with Tuffeau underneath.
The weather systems coming in off the Atlantic are forced upwards by the Mauges hills to the West of Anjou. This causes a rain shadow which gives Saumur more of a continental climate. Le-Puy – being practically the most southerly point – averages less than 200mm/year. The elongated growing season this allows enables the wines to achieve ripeness.
-Wines Under the Bonnet