We have been exceptional lucky this year with vigneron visits from Bourgueil. In the Spring there was Frédéric Mabileau, at RVF’s Salon a couple of weeks ago Jacky Blot (La Butte) and last Friday Catherine Breton. Next week we will see Yannick Amirault. The only appellation leaders missing from the parade are Caslot (Dom. Chevalerie) and Pierre-Jacques Druet.
Friday’s tasting gathered together a number of French organic and biodynamic producers at Rob, the Brussels gastronomic temple (high prices
). This was a very interesting group of people and wines, the rest of which I will write up in a separate thread(s).Domaine Catherine et Pierre Breton, Bourgueil
The wines were presented by Catherine. The grapes are certified organic (Ecocert since 1994) but methods have been upgraded to biodynamic with Demeter certification pending. More information is on their website http://www.domainebreton.net/web/index.php
. The red wines are all made from Cabernet franc (by nice coincidence Breton is the local Loire name for Cabernet franc) and the estate is now venturing into Vouvray but I didn’t see any of those.
Domaine Breton has quite a fan club among serious Loire wine-lovers but this was the first time that I have seen their wines. The overall impression was of great freshness and fruit purity with just the right touch of the typical forest greenness which should make Loire Cabfranc, as well as left-bank Bordeaux, so distinctive. These are wines that I would be happy to drink any day just like Jacky Blot’s.Chinon Beaumont 2010
(€19), made from chalky clay showed lovely red fruit together with charcoal and pencil lead touches. It was medium/light in weight, delightfully fruity with nicely light tannic grip. We are always told that the chalky clays give the wines for the long haul and the sandy gravels the fruity early drinking wines but nature seems to have turned the theory upside down here (and also in the other direction at Alliet’s weighty Vieilles Vignes from sandy gravel); delightful now 15.5/20+++.Bourgueil Nuits d’Ivresse 2009
(€18), from selected old vine chalky clay and seeing no sulphur, was quite different from the previous showing medium+ weight, more amplitude and generosity, lovely hedonistic fruit with leather and mineral hints coupled with firm tannic structure. Good now but should improve with some age; 16/20++.Bourgueil Les Perrières 2008
(€23), from 70 year old vines on siliceous clay, was a tougher and, at present, more closed and less hedonistic variant of the previous with medium/full body and still firmer tannic structure. This is a wine to be cellared for several years but is enjoyable now if one decants and is prepared to sacrifice the potential; 16/20 now with +++++ potential.