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Domaine du Closel 'Les Clos du Papillon' Savennières 2020


The 2020 Clos du Papillon is shy aromatically, offering up restrained characters of white stone fruit, almond meal and an intriguing whiff of smokiness. It is a textured Savennières, initially caressing the mouth with its silken texture before showing its true colors: this is a powerful style with drive. Its tension, austere acidity and phenolic grain reflect its poor, volcanic soils. Compared with the 2019, it is more balanced (lower alcohol), taut and precise, and that's welcome.

A former literature teacher, Evelyne de Pontbriand, took over Domaine du Closel in 2001 and has adopted organic and biodynamic principles in her top sites: Clos du Papillon and Les Caillardières. Following elevated alcohol levels in 2018 and 2019, de Pontbriand expressed a desire for greater freshness in the future.

The 2020 vintage of Clos du Papillon from Domaine du Closel is absolutely superb and is one of the finest young vintages of this iconic Savennières bottling that I have tasted in a long, long time. The gorgeous bouquet hops from the glass in a mix of quince, lime, chalky soil tones, orange zest, beeswax and a refined mix of white lilies and dried flowers in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, precise and full-bodied, with a lovely core of fruit, superb mineral undertow and cut, a lovely spine of acidity, excellent balance and focus and a long, complex and vibrant finish. This is superb young Savennières, but give it some cellaring time to allow all of its complexity to emerge. 2028-2065. 

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