Luc Poullain bought Domaine des Echardières and its 16 hectares of vines as a going concern in 2000 from one of the many divisions of the local Launay clan. He was 30 years old at the time. An interesting career path, he’d studied as an agricultural engineer in Bedfordshire in the early 1990s (which rather explains his excellent grasp of the English language), before returning to France to sell, ironically, chemicals to the wine industry.
Although the cellar is situated in the village of Angé, the vines are located on what is referred to as the Premier Côte between here and the neighbouring commune of Pouillé – where Luc and his family live. Split almost equally white and red, there are seven hectares of Sauvignon, planted on two different soil types (both flint and limestone) and which are vinified apart.
The Touraine-Chenonceaux reds are an equal blend of Cabernet Franc and Côt (Malbec). One has to recognise that this is at the eastern extremity of the maritime climate favoured by the Breton (Cabernet Franc) grape where maturity is by no means guaranteed every year. It needs to be planted in the correct soils on the most precocious sites – and yet still needs warm growing conditions in order to ripen.
For a long period of time, Malbec has been seen as being most adapted to the part-continental climes of the Cher valley. Better vineyard management, however, combined with improved cellar techniques along with the effect of global warming has resulted in red wines with greater ripeness and overall quality in this part of Touraine over the past decade. Raised in tank, the law here dictates that the wines are not to be released before September 1st in the year following the vintage.
This powerful and subtle wine brings a frank attack then a length in mouth on silky tannins, black currant and morello cherries aromas