Vintage: 2011
Bottle sizes: 750 ML
Country: France
Region: Loire
Appellation: Saumur-Champigny
Wine type: Red
Varietals: Cabernet Franc
Organic: Practicing
Vineyard: Two side-by-side parcels; one planted in 1953, the other in 1991.
Soil: Tufa-limestone, a soft chalk from the Cretaceous Period. Topsoil contains high percentage of fertile clay.
Viticulture: The estate has been certified organic since 2007. Grass grows between the vine rows, which are tilled by hand. Philippe Vatan rigorously crop-thins his vineyards, dropping fruit and retaining only very ripe bunches.
Vinification: Indigenous yeasts, long fermentations lasting 25-30 days
Aging: 20 month élévage in used foudres.
Production: 2,500 cases
Publication: View from the Cellar – John Gilman
Rating: 92+
The 2011 Lisagathe bottling of Saumur-Champigny from the Vatans is the current release of this cuvée and the wine is excellent. The youthful nose delivers a fine blend of sweet dark berries, cassis, tree bark, espresso, dark soil tones (there is quite a bit of clay in the topsoil over the tuffeau in the two parcels that go into the Lisagathe cuvée) and a bit of cigar wrapper in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, nascently complex and rock solid at the core, with ripe tannins, sound acids and impressive length and grip on the focused and perfectly balanced finish. This deserves a few years in the cellar to blossom and should prove to be quite ageworthy. 2017-2035+. - Jon Gilman