Antoine left Clos Rougeard in 1999 to start Domaine du Collier, where he hit it out of the park from the get-go, making Burgundian wines of breadth and intensity—a style that does call to mind the Clos Rougeard. We’ve enjoyed incredible bottles going back to 2001 and 2002! And everyone agrees, the wines are just getting better and better as the vines get older and Antoine gains experience.Domaine du Collier is just under seven hectares of vines planted on the hillsides of the Breze commune in Saumur. Just like his father and uncle, he works his vineyards organically and supports the natural progress of each vine growing deep into the appellation’s famed tuffeau bedrock. He has several parcels of very old vines with his La Charpenterie vineyard boasting ones over a hundred years old. Planted to two-thirds Chenin and one-third Cabernet Franc, the Domaine produces a scant 1200 cases a year.Antoine does not believe in the use of chemical fertilizers in the vineyards and biodynamic principles are employed. All vineyard work and harvesting is done by hand, only native yeasts are used in the cellars, and all fermentation is controlled naturally by the underground cellar conditions. Antoine uses two cellars. The high humidity cellar built in the 10-12th century is used for his Chenin and the low humidity, colder cellar built in the 17th century is used for his Cabernet Franc. A combination of new and old barrels are used including Stockinger foudres. Elevage is slow and long lasting at least 24-36 months without racking.Antoine's ability to truly understand and express his terroir is evident in the wines, which have garnered the attention and admiration of Cabernet Franc devotees and Chenin cognoscenti with their power, mineral character, and ethereal lift. These are complex wines with power and concentration without sacrificing delicacy and precision. Transcending their varieties, the wines are clear expressions of Breze’s limestone terroir.
Loire Valley Wines
The Loire Valley is France’s greatest source of value for anyone looking for elegant, terroir-driven wines. Our collection celebrates the region’s great diversity, with the mineral-driven whites of Muscadet and Sancerre, the beautiful Chenin Blancs and Cabernet Francs from villages like Vouvray and Chinon, and natural wines from everywhere in the region. Sometimes wonderfully fresh and gulpable, sometimes serious and age-worthy, the prices are always very reasonable.