The small village of Cravant les Coteaux, located about 10 kilometers East of Chinon, could be said to be home to the Cru vineyards of the appellation. There, alongside the more famous names in Chinon (Baudry, Pallus, Alliet), Patrick Lambert is growing some of the region’s most traditional, complex, and enjoyable wines from just 6.34 ha of organically worked vines.
Patrick took over the estate, which originally belonged to his grandfather, in 1990 and began the process of reducing yields and converting to organic farming. In 2005 he made the decision to reduce the size of the estate down to only the best terroirs to increase quality and allow him to focus on making the kind of wine he wants to. As of 2014 the estate is certified organic by ECOCERT.
The vines, which are 19 – 60 years old, are planted to a combination of sand, clay, and gravel over a substrate of limestone. Patrick plows between th vines and also allows some natural grasses to grow for competition, which keeps the yields low. At harvest, everything is picked by hand and fermentation is done with natural yeast in the tank. Depending on the cuvée the wine is then moved to very old oak and chestnut barrels for up to 18 months
Patrick’s cellar is perhaps the most magical place at the estate. Dug directly into the limestone bedrock below the vines, the cellar is a cold, dark, and peaceful cave. It’s the ideal atmosphere for aging these elegant, precise and juicy wines. Mold grows to think on the walls, insulating the wines from the intrusions of the outside world. The cellar also houses a collection of older vintages, which if you’re lucky, Patrick will begin happily popping open for you. Vintages going back to 1979 are still alive and well, displaying the ability of Patrick’s wines to age for decades.
Chinon 'Les Deuzelles'
Chinon 'Vieilles Vignes'
and underground tanks lined with glass tile. Aging for one year in very old barriques.