The story of Theo Blet is, by now, quite common. A young, multi-generational child comes of age and, rather than […]Keep Reading
The story of Theo Blet is, by now, quite common. A young, multi-generational child comes of age and, rather than sell the entirety of his family’s grapes to the local cooperative, decides to vinify their best selection of fruit. What is uncommon about this story is that famille Blet and Theo have vineyards on some of the most auspicious terroirs of Saumur. Once a backwater only visited by a few hardcore and dedicated Loire Valley collectors, Saumur has gone from obscure to cult, and from cult to bluechip in the last quarter century. In Saumur, two limestone soils meet – soft Tuffeau and hard, chalky Jurassic limestone of the Paris basin. If, by chance, one had to describe Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc from Saumur, the tension between hard and soft, fruit and minerality, delicacy and structure, isn’t just apt, but seems predestined by geology.
Theo Blet was born into a family deeply rooted in the viticulture of Saumur, representing the fourth generation entrusted with the stewardship of his family’s vines. Guided by the wisdom imparted by his grandfather, who inherited the vines from his in-laws, and his father, who dutifully continued the legacy and started the process of converting to organic farming, Théo is well situated to build on his family’s heritage in Courchamps. Now totaling 16 hectares, Theo currently makes wine from two parcels – La Peyanne and Les Fabureaux. La Peyanne is a parcel of Chenin Blanc on 30cm of eroded tuffeau over tuffeau bedrock. Les Fabreaux is nearby but planted with Cabernet Franc with sandier soils with southern exposure. These two sites account for a little of 1 hectare of vines, with the remainder sold to the cooperative. Theo’s practices are minimal. The fruit is harvested by hand with direct pressing for the Chenin and destemming for his Cabernet Franc. Fermentations start spontaneously, and the wines are aged in third and fourth-fill French oak barrels. Over time, Theo expects to expand his range of offerings, but only if additional parcels match the quality of La Peyanne and Les Fabureaux. After tasting La Peyanne and Fabureaux, we cannot wait to see what this young, rising star has in store for us next.