Johann Spelty represents the fifth generation of his family to be winemakers in Cravant les Coteaux, one of the most highly regarded villages in the Chinon AOC. The estate was originally 40 ha, but over the generations, the French inheritance practice of equal shares to all children have whittled Johann’s portion down to 15 ha. Spelty’s Chinon is the traditional 100% Cabernet Franc. The lieu-dit ‘Graviers’ is a long-elevage release that shows greater ageing potential than his introductory-level wines.
Spelty grows cabernet franc, mostly on deep gravelly soil, but he also has a terrace of flinty clay. The estate is in the process of converting to certified organic. The harvest is done manually and takes about a week. Johann makes a lot of half-serious remarks when you go for a tasting session about how visitors would be welcome back at harvest time to work. Johann’s goal is to let the terroir express itself in the wine, and as such, a conversion to organic began in 2011 and the estate is now organic certified.
Hand-harvesting and sorting, vegan compatible, ambient yeast, elevage in a combo of 600L demi-muids(neutral) and cement. Unfined. The Johann Spelty Chinon ‘Graviers’ organic red wine nose is dominated by dark plum, it’s youthful but with a classic hint of green tobacco and lively floral/lilac notes. The palate is similar to the nose, but with bitter wild strawberries, tobacco leaf, high acidity and grippy tannins on the mid/forward palate. Remarkably youthful. Plus, it is a vegan wine.