Domaine Gigou

Ludovic Gigou

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After working as a welder and metal artist, in 1974 Joël Gigou decided to take over the vineyards of a retiring vigneron in the Sarthe, an overlooked corner of the French wine map between Tours and Le Mans. Over the next few years, Gigou worked side by side with M Legriau to learn how to work the vines and produce wines a l’ancienne, the old-fashioned way. A free spirit and autodidact, Gigou developed his own unique style over the next few decades, selling his wines to local restaurants busy with locals and tourists passing through to view the famous Chateaux or automobile races.

The entire appellation of Jasnières is only 108 hectares, and lies on a unique narrow band of flint and tuffeau limestone that parallels the Loir River (not to be confused with the Loire River further south). Jasnières is famous for Chenin Blanc, which develops an intense ascetic purity thanks to the cold climate and terroir. Gigou farms 9 hectares of Jasnières, including 3 hectares of Clos Saint Jacques, one of the finest vineyards in the region. In addition, they also produce excellent red wine from 100% Pineau d’Aunis.

Today the domaine is a true family affair managed by his children Ludovic and Dorothée, though Joël and his wife Sylvie remain omnipresent in the cellar and vineyards. Ludovic returned to the domaine in 1998, and soon encouraged a conversion towards organic viticulture in 2001, with a certification beginning in 2015.


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Coteaux du loir blanc

Varietal: Chenin Blanc                                           Color: White

In addition to Jasnières, the main white wine from the domaine, Gigou also produces a small bit of Coteaux du Loir Blanc, also from Chenin Blanc vineyards that lie just outside the appellation. This wine is lighter in style, and is aged 100% in used chestnut barrels.

 

Jasnières jus du terre blanc 

Varietal: Chenin Blanc                                         Color: White

Jus de Terre (Juice of the Earth) is the young vine cuvée, made from a blend of 15 different parcels in L’homme which are 10-40 years old. Half aged in tank and half in used barrels. Natural fermentation and 3-4 months of elevage before bottling.

 

jasnières clos saint-jacques blanc

Varietal: Chenin Blanc                                  Color: White

Though not an actual walled vineyard, Clos Saint Jacques is the cadastral name for this 3.5 hectare vineyard, one of the finest in Jasnières. 100% hand harvested, the wines are naturally fermented and aged in used oak barrels for 8-12 months before bottling. This wine has a great capacity for improving over a decade or more in the cellar.

 

jasnières sélection raisins nobles blanc

Varietal: Chenin Blanc                                          Color: White

 

Coteaux du loir pineau d’aunis

Varietal: Pineau d’Aunis                                     Color: Red

Pineau d’aunis is the typical red grape of the region. It’s found throughout the Loire Valley, and typically produces peppery, earthy, light-bodied wines. Chez Gigou, the Pineau d’Aunis is crafted with perfect simplicity - natural fermentation in tank, elevage for 6 months in tanks, and then bottled and allowed to rest for a few years before release.

 

coteaux du loir l’ancêtre

Varietal: Pineau d’Aunis                                      Color: Red

 

La Bulle Sarthoise Sparkling Red

Varietal: Pineau d’Aunis                                      Color: Red

From time to time, Ludovic Gigou creates a sparkling wine to try something different. This sparkling red wine is a vintage 2009 Pineau d’Aunis made in the Champagne methode traditionelle. It tastes just like that - an earthy, peppery, red wine with a small bead of bubbles.