Clos du Tue Boeuf

Clos du Tue-Boeuf, Les Montils

There is plenty of history around Clos du Tue-Boeuf, you can trace winemaking here back to the middle ages. This place used to be a place of sacrifice, hence the name. Since the 15th century this 6 hectares ‘Clos’ has been in the hands of the Puzelat family.
Thierry and Jean-Marie Puzelat took over fully from their father when he was old enough to let it go in 1994. Before the 70:s the family tradition was to farm vines, asparagus and cereals. The wines were sold in bulk. Thierry and Jean-Maries father changed this by starting to focus on the wine and started to bottle at the domain.

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As soon as Thierry and Jean-Marie took over they started to make wines in a natural way. The vineyards were converted to organic farming in 1996. Today they make 13 different wines from 4 hectares in Cheverny and 4 hectares in Touraine.

Starting from 2020 Thierry and his daughters, Zoe and Louise, are the ones running this estate. Jean Marie is now enjoying a relaxing time just as a retired man should. Zoe and Louise grew up surrounded by the wine and have been on adventures by themselves before returning back home to make sure this estate continues to give us drinking pleasure.

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Thierry, is a bit of a famous guy when it comes to many things. In particular from being one of the founders of the L’Association des Vins Naturels in 2002 – one of the first movements for the ‘natural revolution’. He has inspired a lot of people and helped them on how to start working with a natural approach. Before he jumped on the family business he also worked in Saint-Émilion and Montréal for a while.
Besides that, Thierry also created 12 years ago the domaine Puzelat-Bonhomme together with Pierre-O Bonhomme. But since 2014 he has left Pierre-O to take care of it himself. He felt he had a little bit too much to handle with 2 domaines. With that said, he’s right now also planting his first vineyards in Georgia, is co-owner of 2 wine bars in Orléans, teaches at a winemaking school, travels around the world to show the wines and also manages to do a little bit of partying every now and then.
Even though he’s one of the guys that’s been driving the natural wine movement as a force from another world, he renounces the defects that can occur in natural wines. He would rather add a tiny bit of sulfur before bottling to avoid glitches that enable the wines to show their true terroir.

The wines in general:
The reds are elegant, aromatic, fruit driven and mineral with a very fine tannic structure.
The whites are pure, fruity, and elegant with a nice fresh acidity that carries a mineral finish.

2019 Le P’tit Blanc du Tue Boeuf (also available in 20 liter Key-Keg and magnum bottle)

Soil: Clay, limestone and silex
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Vin de France
Age of Vines: Planted in 1998 – 2014
Yields: 40 hl/h

Vinification: Direct press and then fermented and aged for 5 months in tanks before bottling.


2020 Le Petit Buisson

Soil: Silex and limestone on chalk
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Vin de France
Age of Vines: planted 1982
Yields: 35 hl/h

Vinification: Direct press and then fermented and aged 6 months in old barriques before bottling.


2019 Cheverny Blanc ’Frileuse’

Soil: Clay and flint from the 3,8 hectares Frileuse vineyard
Grape: 1/3 Fil Gris (Sauvignon Gris), 1/3 Chardonnay, 1/3 Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: AOC Cheverny
Age of Vines: planted 1970-2005
Yields: 35 hl/h

Vinification: Direct press and then decanting the must for 1 day.  Fermented and aged 8 months in 500 liter old barrels before bottling.


2019 Dolia

Soil: Limestone
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Vin de France
Age of Vines: planted 1990
Yields: 35 hl/h

Vinification: Direct press then fermented and aged in a 1000 liter sandstone Amphora. Bottled in May 2020.


2018 Pineau de la Loire (Magnum bottle)

Soil: Clay, flint, sand and gravel
Grape: 90% Chenin Blanc 10% Menu Pineau
Appellation: Vin de France
Age of Vines: Planted in 1993 – 2013
Yields: 40 hl/h

Vinification: Direct press and then fermented and aged for 7 months in old barrels before bottling.


2018 Le Buisson Pouilleux

Soil: Sand and gravel from 1,1 hectares vineyard
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: AOC Touraine
Age of Vines: 50% planted in 1954, 50% 1999-2015.
Yields: 25 hl/h

Vinification: Direct press and then decanting the must for 1 day. Fermented and aged for 12 months in old barriques before bottling.


2020 ’Vin Rosé’

Soil: 50% clay, limestone and Silex on top of Blois Chalk.
Grape: 90% Gamay 10% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Vin de France
Age of Vines: planted 1996 to 2006
Yields: 50 hl/h

Vinification: Direct slow press before fermentation and ageing in old demi muid and concrete tanks, bottling after 6 months.


2015 Côteaux du Giennois

Soil: Kimmeridgian limestone, from Mathieu Costes vineyard in Côteaux du Giennois, just outside Sancerre.
Grape: 75% Gamay 25% Pinot Noir
Appellation: Vin de France
Age of Vines: Planted in 1960-1970
Yields: 30 hl/ha

Vinification: 50% whole bunches and 50% destemmed grapes fermented with the skins for 2,5 weeks in open vats. After pressing all the wine, it was put in old 500 liter barrels and Thierry drove it over to his place for 16 months of ageing.


2019 Vin Rouge (20 liter Key-Keg and magnum bottle, 2017 in Key-Keg)

Soil: 70% clay, limestone and Silex on top of Blois Chalk, 30% Granit with volcanic traces and sand from Brouilly.
Grape: Gamay
Appellation: Vin de France
Age of Vines: 12-22 years old.
Yields: 40 hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation that starts with macération carbonique for a week and goes on for another 7 days in an open vat. Very careful pigeage for the last week, then pressed and aged for 6 months in old demi-muid

Extras: As 2016 and 2017 was a disaster when it comes to volumes especially in Loire and Northern Burgundy, there were a lot of different ‘Vin de France’ created, due to many growers buying grapes from friends in regions where they didn’t suffer a big loss of crop. So, in this case Thierry bought some Gamay, suited to mix with his own from his good friend Remi Dufaitre. And since then this collaboration has continued because the result is so good, and the threat of frost is always present.


2019 Touraine Rouge ’Pineau d’Aunis’

Soil: Clay, limestone and Silex
Grape: Pineau d’Aunis
Appellation: AOC Touraine
Age of Vines: Planted in 1977
Yields: 35 hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 2 weeks in open vats, very careful pigéage by hand during the maceration. Pressed and aged for 14 months in old barriques and demi-muid before blending and bottling.


2019 Cheverny Rouge ’La Callière’

Soil: Clay, limestone and silex.
Grape: Pinot Noir
Appellation: AOC Cheverny
Age of Vines: Planted in 1981
Yields: 5 hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 2 weeks in open vats, very careful pigéage by hand during the maceration.
Then pressed and aged for 10 months in old barriques and 400 L barrels before blending and bottling.


 2018 Cheverny Rouge ’Rouillon’

Soil: Clay, limestone and Silex on top of Blois Chalk.
Grape: 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Gamay
Appellation: AOC Cheverny
Age of Vines: Planted in 1998
Yields: 5 hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation that starts with macération carbonique for a few days and goes on for another 7 days in an open vat.
Very careful pigéage during the last week, then pressed and aged for 5 months in old demi-muid.


2018 Cheverny Rouge ’La Gravotte’

Soil: Clay and flint on top of Blois Chalk
Grape: Pinot Noir (with a few % Pinot Gris)
Appellation: AOC Cheverny
Age of Vines: Planted in 1976 – 1981
Yields: 35 hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 2 weeks in open vats, very careful pigéage by hand during the maceration. Then pressed and aged for 7 months in old barriques and 400 L barrels before blending and bottling.


2015 Touraine Rouge ’La Guerrerie’

Soil: Clay, limestone and Silex
Grape: 2/3 Côt, 1/3 Gamay
Appellation: AOC Touraine
Age of Vines: Planted in 1980
Yields: 40 hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 2 weeks in open vats, very careful pigéage by hand during the maceration. Pressed and aged for 10 months in old barriques and demi-muid before blending and bottling.