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For five generations the Mandard family has operated their estate in Mareuil-sur-Cher, Loir-et-Cher, in the heart of the Loire Valley, in North Eastern France. Historically, they grew strawberries, asparagus, and some grape vines. In the 70’s Jacky Mandard decided to focus on grape growing. In 1993, Jean-Christophe assumed control of operations. He furthered the focus on vines, and eventually winemaking itself, increasing vineyard holdings to some 27 hectares. In 2020, his son, jean-Batiste decided to join his father, after years of experience working in Bordeaux and the Cotes du Rhone.

 

Today they make multiple wines from various grapes, and different styles and classifications. Grape varieties include Sauvignon, Chenin, Orbois, and Chardonnay for whites, Gamay, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir for red. They make both still and sparkling wines and their classifications include Touraine AOP and Touraine Chenonceaux AOP.

 

Interestingly, the estate is influenced by both a continental, as well as oceanic climate. The estate is on the south of the Cher, where soils are clay, limestone, and silex. These are ideal for the production of expressive, often intense Sauvignon Blanc, which is the most important grape for Mandard. JC prefers this side of the river to the northern, sandier soils  which tend to produce less aromatic, heavier and fuller-bodied wines, lacking in levity and balance.

 

Sauvignon Blanc

 

100% Sauvignon, unfettered, unmolested, expressing green apple, vibrant fresh herbs, lime zest, cotton candy, and unripe grapefruit. This is medium-bodied, with a pleasant, easy mouth feel like a dry limeade with a sprig of thyme in it. This might have too much zest for shrimp or scallops, or indeed anything too alkaline. However, Pozole verde with extra lime and shredded chicken would be ideal!. The winery suggests escargots, vegetable terrine, and shellfish.

 

Chenin Val de Loire IGP

 

Pale yellow,, lightly flinty and floral on the nose, this is NOT Vouvray, rather its own unique style of white. This wine is all about soft pears, yellow apples, tiny hints of apricots, river rocks, and just a touch of honeysuckle. The acid is ample, but not excessive. As such, this can work with some creamy cheeses. Additionally, this can do most things a Muscadet Sevre et Maine can do; clams, oysters, shrimp, et cetera.

 

Touraine Brut

 

This is Arbois and Chenin. The bubbles are fine and creamy. This is quite pale in colour, the nose is rocky, with hints of honey and crispy pear. The mouthfeel is vibrant, zesty, yet slightly round and pleasantly simple. Food pairings are endless, therefore here will recommend it with a sunset, some crispy snacks, on a warm spring evening.

 

Le Touraine Les P’Tites Notes.

 

Pinot Noir and Gamay are a lovely duo, and in this wine, they play off of one another, Django and Stephane. This is earthy, fruity, zesty, a bit bouncy, with fruit shifting from red to purple and place in between. Although it is casual, it is not simple. There are layers of all of the aforementioned, and waves of delicate texture. This is chillable for tuna or salmon, or sip with well-aged cheeses.

 

 

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