Chateau de l’Eperonniere

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A few years ago, the Tijou family, proprietaires for several generations of the Chateau Soucherie in Beaufort-sur-Layon, decided to sell their property and effectively exchange the larger domaine of Soucherie for the smaller estate just down the road, Chateau de l’Eperonniere, which was also in the family for many generations. Mathieu Tijou, son of Pierre-Yves and Brigitte, established his domaine at Eperonniere and launched his career as independent vigneron with the 2007 vintage. This is a particularly pleasing development for us as we had worked vintage-to-vintage with his father at Soucherie for over twenty-five years, having commenced our relationship in 1982 by importing the 1980 vintage.

Mathieu and his wife, Charlotte, have renovated this spectacular property with impeccable taste, respecting the traditional architecture and, in fact, using the finest artisanal labor to repair one of the wooden ceilings in the chai that dates back to the thirteenth century.

The vineyards are sited on both sides of the Loire and overlook the Layon. Mathieu owns the “Croix Picot” vineyard in the Savennieres appellation and the remaining vineyards around the Chateau are in the Anjou and Coteaux du Layon appellations.

Eperonniere-Cremant Château de L’Eperonnière Crémant de Loire: This aromatic and expressive Crémant shows what superb sparkling wine can be made from Chenin Blanc with ample aging sur lattes (in this case, 3 years). From the 2011 vintage, it’s a blend of 80% Chenin, 5% Chardonnay, and 5% Cabernet Franc disgorged in 2014. With fine mousse and notes of yellow apple and wisteria across the midpalate, it’s nicely balanced with 2 grams of dosage tempering the naturally high acidity of Chenin Blanc.
Tijou-Mathieu-Savennieres Savennieres Croix Picot: The vineyards lie hard on the banks of the Loire River and are frequently covered in an early morning mist. The soil is almost exclusively composed of schist which renders a classic Savennieres: rigorous, bone-dry, with an intense minerality to the finish. The grapes are harvested manually and then are fermented in barrel using only indigenous yeasts. The elevage is also in barrel, none of which are new. The wine never undergoes the malolactic fermentation. Bottling occurs 12 months after the harvest. Approximately 4200 bottles are reserved for our use in the USA.
Tijou-MATHIEU-ROSE-DE-LOIRE Rosé de Loire: This lively and dry Rosé is vinified from Cabernet Franc with a touch of Grolleau. The grapes are harvested manually and the vinification is via the direct press method. The wine is fermented and aged in cuve and then bottled in late winter/early spring.
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2018 Rosé Field Report

The story throughout the south of France for the 2018 growing season was similar: an inordinate amount of rainfall from February through June engendered a rash of mildew that had growers scrambling, treating between five and ten times as much as usual in many instances. The weather pulled an immediate about-face in July, turning remarkably hot and remarkably dry—conditions which persisted until harvest. This whiplash effect stressed both vines and vignerons, to be sure, but happily the quality of the rosés from Provence is generally outstanding in 2018. The higher amount of rainfall led to rosés not burdened by unwelcome heaviness due to hyper-low yields, but the dryness of the latter part of the growing season prevented a sense of dilution in the final wines. In general, the 2018 rosés from the south of France display impeccable balance, superb drinkability, and a streak of classicism that sets them above the 2017s.


LOIRE VALLEY …. LOIRE VALLEY Although the Loire Valley’s wine regions experienced a few episodes of frost during the 2017 growing season—a calamity that seems to becoming de rigueur in these post-climate-change pseudo-winters and early flowerings—they were thankfully spared many of the stressors that plagued the deep south. None of our five rosé-producing growers throughout the region

Chateau de l’Eperonnière rosé wrap-up

Mathieu Tijou’s Chateau de l’Eperonnière Rosé de Loire this vintage is–well–PINK… Not salmon, not copper, not silvery, but the pure Platonic ideal of pink. Mathieu explained to us that he presses the grapes under a blanket of inert gas in order to prevent any trace of oxidation and to preserve that electric hue. Primarily Cabernet

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