Philippe Alliet and his wife, Claude, have farmed in Cravant-les-Coteaux, in the heart of the Chinon AOC since 1985. As one of the rare producers in Chinon to win two stars in the La Revue du Vin de France’s prestigious Classement, they have earned their reputation by being meticulous growers and serious winemakers. Inspired by the great wines of Bordeaux, they believe that wine should taste good whether it’s young or aged for ten years. They have made the some of the best quality wines of the appellation by avoiding chemical treatments, plowing the vineyards regularly, and by limiting the yields substantially to an incredibly low 28 hl/ha. While most of their terroirs hail from the alluvial flats along the river, the Alliets have also added to their holdings with two rather prestigious parcels from sunny, south-facing vineyards: one on the steep clay and limestone slopes of the Coteau de Noiré, which they also replanted; and the other on the clay, sand, and chalky limestone of L’Huisserie. In recent years, they have acquired a few rows of Chenin Blanc, which they use for their bottling of Chinon Blanc. The Alliets now farm 17 hectares.
After the harvest, the grapes are entirely de-stemmed, crushed and macerated. Alcoholic fermentation is a long process chez Alliet, taking place over five weeks with punch-downs, and the new wine is bled off into barrels, where it undergoes malolactic fermentation. The wines age in both barrels and tanks, depending on the cuvee, for up to 18 months. Their ancient cellars are charmingly carved into the tuffeau hillsides, which are not only emblematic of the region but also serve a practical purpose by offering a naturally temperature-controlled environment that is ideal for the long élévages. The wines are fined with egg-whites before bottling. Displaying incredible depth and concentration, perfectly balanced fruit, good acidity, and tannins that are never drying, the finished wines are approachable in their youth but able to age indefinitely.