Downtown Durham's neighborhood bottle shop and wine bar offering curbside pickup, local delivery, and shipping to 43 states.
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100% Chenin Blanc. The Clos du Papillon is one of the three most celebrated coulées or small ravine-like valleys in Savennières; it and La Roche Aux Moines and La Coulée de Serrant are in essence the grands crus of the appellation. Papillon is nearly a monopole for Closel, shared only with Baumard. it lies mid-slope with full south-southeast exposure that promotes full ripening; proximity to the river promotes the development of botrytis (the fermentation of this musky, earthy sweetness to dryness giving Savennière much of its typical intensity). The sandy, clay-based soil is rich in schist and volcanic stones: the top layer is light and shallow, allowing optimal drainage and forcing the roots deep into the bedrock. The vines range from 20 to 70 years old with extremely low yields of about 20 hectoliters per hectare.
Like the rest of the Closel estate, this venerable vineyard is farmed biodynamically and harvested manually. Unlike the rest, it is harvested in at least two stages--the first being its younger vines, at the same time as the earlier-ripening Jalousie parcels and thus free of botrytis, and the second being its older vines about 10 days later with quite a lot of botrytis. The fruit is whole-cluster pressed, unilke the other Closel wines; the juice is fermented with native yeasts to almost complete dryness. The earlier- and later-harvested lots are vinified and aged on their lees separately for a year in used 400-liter oak barrels. They are then blended, held a few months in vats, dosed with a small amount of sulfur for the first time and then bottled. Clos du Papillon is the crown jewel of Closel, a structured and serious Chenin Blanc meant for aging.
Clos du Papillon is one of the two or three best vineyards in Savennières, always classic, always demonstrating a generous richness and powerful minerality. Slightly golden-tinged in color with aromas of beeswax, roasted almonds, quince and apricot flavors with a lengthy slate mineral finish. This a legendary wine and meant for savng. If opening tonight, do so with buttery, sautéed locally-caught fish or aged, creamy goat cheese. Clos Papillon is one of the top sites in Savennières, so named because the plot’s shape resembles a butterfly. The picking is usually late, (October), and done in several consecutive passes in the vineyards so as to maximize the ripeness levels. Papillon has amazing aging potential.
DOMAINE du CLOSEL :
Chateau des Vaults in Savennières dates back to 1495, and was inherited by Michèle de Jessey in 1962 from her childless aunt Madame du Closel. Michèle and Jacques de Jessey turned the small family estate into Domaine du Closel. The entire vineyard is located on the most western hill of Savennières and includes some of the best parcels in the AOC: Les Caillardièresand Clos du Papillon. The topsoil is shallow, very warm and consists of purple/green schist and sandstone, enriched with volcanic rocks (quartz, phtanites, ryolites and spilites) in the best areas.
Evelyne de Pontbriand, Michèle and Jacques' daughter, took over the estate in 2001 after a first career of teaching French literature to adults all over the world. As a lover of botanics and nature, she quickly adopted organic viticulture, which continues to be an experimental learning process. She is constantly searching for cultural practices best adapted to the austere terroirs of Savennières, and has deeply changed vinification practices in the cellar. Vinification is done very naturally and with indigenous yeasts; sulfites are only added in tiny doses when needed. The wines are raised on lees from 12 to 26 months. The rhythm of fermentation is always respected.
Today the entire estate has been converted to organic and biodynamic practices in order to best express the different terroirs, each producing unique, original and delicious wines. With the help of a Belgian geologist Valerie Closset, all of her parcels have been inventoried and analysed to understand them better (which ultimately led to each cuvée sharing the name of the parcel it came from). A lot of energy has recently been focused on understanding and dealing with fungal illness in the vines. For esca, replacements are done in 2 phases: the first consists of planting the rootstock. About 2 years later, a “ selection massale” of chenin is grafted from a healthy vine. New plantations are done with material from Lilian Berillon, the first and only organic pepinieriste in the world. (http://www.lilian-berillon.fr/)
The other experiments have focused on pruning: new plantations are pruned in the ancient style gobelet, allowing the vine to grow bunches all around and have more exposure to sun and wind. Instead of being cut, the growing branches are now gently wrapped around the top wire. Evelyne believes that foliage thinning is traumatic to the vines, as leaves are the plant's vital organs. She has quickly noticed a change in the aromatic palate of the wines. Much focus has also been dedicated to soil work. Different plants, such as cereals and cloves, have been used as green fertilizers; the idea is to let indigenous vegetation grow in order to reestablish an authentic biodiversity in order to help fight insects and pests.
When not making delicious wines, Evelyne enjoys pairing them with her friend's cheeses, cooking the garden’s vegetables with Loire fishes, reading, traveling to visit other vineyards, and promoting the Savennières AOC (of which she is president).
LouElla is Downtown Durham's neighborhood bottle shop, bar, and event space offering curated wine, craft beer, and fortified selections from family operated producers. The business takes its name and mission from owner and proprietor Campbell Davis's Great Aunt LouElla who was much beloved for her warmth, hospitality, and generous spirit. Whether we are serving you at the bar or helping you pick that perfect bottle to host your celebration, our mission is to share LouElla's hospitality with the community.
Owner & Manager
For Cam Davis, LouElla is the culmination of more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality and beverage industry. Cam has successfully managed some of Durham’s finest locally and nationally recognized establishments, including Hutchin's Garage, Guglhupf, Rue Cler, and Durham Catering Company. He brings a wealth of wine and beverage knowledge, not only from his extensive restaurant experience, but also from his tenure as Durham Sales Manager for wine distributor Bordeaux, Fine and Rare.
316 West Geer St, Suite A, Durham, NC 27701
Tue. - Thu. 11am - 9pm
Fri. & Sat. 11am - 10pm
Sun. 11am - 8pm