Fiona Beeston produces 2 cuvées of red Chinon from the Cabernet Franc grape.

The Clos des Capucins from her walled vineyard. 2011 was her first vintage.

Fiona Beeston’s Perfectly Drinkable Chinon, from a separate vineyard 3 km away. 2012 is the first vintage

Clos des Capucins – Eminence Grise

THE VINES – 100% Cabernet Franc

The Clos, or walled vineyard, is divided into 4 separate vine plots, each surrounded by gardens, hedges, woods – perfect refuge for insects, birds and fauna. The East, South/East facing vineyards overlook the river Vienne. They are planted with 60-90 year-old Cabernet Franc vines.

THE TERROIR / SOIL

Light sandy/clayey top-soil. With such a thin layer of topsoil the roots have no alternative but to plunge into the compact chalk subsoil, locally called tuffeau. This gives the specific chalky taste to the wine.

BIO-DYNAMIC FARMING

As from 2010, the soil is lightly tilled with the help of a plough horse. The infrequent shallow ploughing enables the wild flora to express itself in the vineyard. The plough horse is my ‘weed killer’, bought in only when the vegetation becomes too invasive. My hens are also meant to do their bit.

Bio-dynamic concoctions are sprayed with a backpack sprayer. The tractor is used only when absolutely necessary, in order to avoid compacting the soil.

A VERY TRADITIONAL VINIFICATION

The grapes are hand-picked and hand de-stemmed. The grape juice is then left to ferment in a large oak vat. Once the maceration/fermentation is finished, the wine is transferred to oak casks and kept in the chalk cellars. The wine is cask aged for up to 2 years, at a constant natural temperature of 12°C.

THE CASKS

I purchase one new oak cask a year. The rest of the casks I source from Burgundy. The second-hand barrels will have aged one vintage in them when I buy them. In this way I avoid imparting new oak flavours to my wine. The casks come from the very best domaine in Burgundy. A guaranty of absolute top quality French oak.

BOTTLES

The Clos des Capucins is bottled without filtering. Annual production runs to a few thousand bottles (magnums included). Magnums are the ideal size to enable the wine to mature gently.

RED CHINON

2011 was my first vintage at the Clos des Capucins. My main role at the domaine is simply to enable the ‘terroir’ to express itself to the full. The different vintages are clearly cut from the same cloth ! Deep dark colour with an intense, velvety texture. Red fruit, raspberries on the palate, and an exceptional structure combining freshness and elegance.

The unique ‘terroir’ at the Clos des Capucins produces a red that will age effortlessly from 5 -10 years or longer. If drunk early, it is best to decant a few hours before drinking, and so force the wine open up. Serve at 14°C.

2105 is the current vintage on the market.

Fiona Beeston’s Perfectly Drinkable

I quickly realised that my 1ha30 at the Clos des Capucins wasn’t going to satisfy thirsty palates!

In 2012, I bought another vineyard in Chinon, of just over a hectare. Organically cultivated since it was planted 40 years ago. The plot is just a few kilometers away from the Clos des Capucins and is surrounded by woods.

Bio-dynamic farming

The soil is sandy with some clay, producing red wines for drinking young.

The grapes are hand picked and hand de-stemmed. The juice macerates for around two weeks, and the wine is then barrel aged (500-600 litre barrels) for around six months.

Bottled unfiltered. 2016 : current vintage on the market

Where to find my wines

Wine shops in Paris

  • La Cave de Belleville
  • La Cave de la Madeleine
  • La Grande Epicerie / Le Bon Marché
  • Lavinia
  • Les Caves Legrand
  • La Dernière Goutte
  • Le Livre de Cave
  • Willy’s Wine Bar

Restaurants in Paris

  • Taillevent
  • Le George V
  • L’Arpège
  • Tomy & Co
  • Le Divellec
  • Lapérouse
  • Au Bon George
  • Mumi
  • La Cagouille
  • Le Bouillon
  • La Boissonerie
  • Le Mercure Galant
  • Le Paul Bert
  • Le Bouguainville
  • Au Petit Riche
  • Garance
  • L’Evasion
  • Le Severo
  • Le Cornichon

Elsewhere in France

  • Château de Marçay – Chinon
  • La Cave Voltaire – Chinon
  • Le Café des Arts – Chinon
  • L’auberge de L’Ile – L’Ile Bouchard
  • Vincent Cuisinier de Campagne – Ingrandes-en-Touraine
  • Château d’Artigny – Montbazon
  • Le Petit Blanc – Tours
  • Le Cellier de l’abbaye – Cluny
  • L’Alliey – Monnetier les Bains
  • Desnoix – Brive
  • Café du Musée – Bayonne