Bourgueil and Chinon?

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Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Sam Platt » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:33 pm

I am attempting to educate myself on these two appellations. Can anyone suggest a wine, or two from each appellation that will allow me to compare and contrast? Wines that are widely available and "reasonably" priced would be a benefit.

Thank You,
Sam

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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:51 pm

I'm no expert, but until SFJoe or someone chimes in, my favorites:
Bourgueil: Pierre & Catherine Breton. Several bottlings, the Trinch! being usually the early drinking one.
Chinon: Olga Raffault is my favorite, with the Picasses being the bottling I buy. Baudry is good, too, Joquet is kinda expensive (relatively).
2002 & 2004 are both good vintages. 2003 isn't actually bad for red Loires IMHO, but others disagree.
If you can get wines shipped, Chambers St Wines is probably best Loire store in country.
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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Bruce K » Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:35 pm

I agree with everything Dale wrote. In fact, if you were to call Chambers Street and ask them to put together a mixed case for you, chances are all their selections would be great.

Another Bourgueil producer that I've found consistently good and reasonably priced (thought not as spectacular as the Bretons I've had) is Domaine de la Chanteleuserie. It's imported by Kermit Lynch.

For wines from these two appellations that drink well young, I'd pick Breton's Trinch! (as Dale noted) for Bourgeuil and Baudry's Les Granges for Chinon. If you want to throw a third appellation into the mix, try Domaine Filliatreau's Chateau Fouquet -- it's from Saumur.

For wines that usually show their best with age on it, you might try Breton's Clos Sénéchal (and a number of others) and from Chinon, Raffault's Les Picasses or Baudry's Les Grezeaux. You might also try Joel Taluau's Vieilles Vignes bottling of St.-Nicolas-de-Bourgeuil, to add another appellation as well.
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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Tim York » Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:14 pm

Personally I find it very difficult to distinguish between the wines of these two appellations and I love both. The grower house style tends to over-ride any differences between the communes and as far as I know there are no reputable houses which do both so as to permit a valid comparison. Additionally within both appellations there are different soil types; argilo-calcaire (calky clay), argilo-siliceux (flinty clay), graviers (gravel), sables (sand) and graviers sablonneux (sandy gravel). The clay terroirs tend to produce fuller bodied wines more suitable for keeping and the sand and gravel lighter fruity wines for early consumption though some of Alliet's wines, for example, from Chinon sandy gravel are quite powerful indeed.

Amongst the Chinon growers I can personally recommend Bernard Baudry, Philippe Alliet (more heavy and sometimes somewhat oaky though integrating with ageing), Charles Joguet (more classical and ageing beautifully in his top Doiterie and Chêne Vert cuvées). For Bourgueil and Saint-Nicolas de Bougueil, Yannick Amirault (some find them too "modern" but I like them), Druet, Domaine de la Chevalerie (Pierre Caslot) and Jacky Blot (better known for Monlouis and Vouvray under the name Domaine de la Taille aux Loups).

I don't know about availabilty and prices in the USA but over here these wines represent excellent QPR with hardly any costing more than 20 EUR.

While checking out Loire Cabernet franc based reds, don't overlook Saumur-Champigny about 40 km to the West in Anjou. There are some wonderful wines here too, perhaps a bit fuller bodied and tannic than Chinon and Bourgueil.
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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby SFJoe » Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:35 pm

I'm no expert either, but you have received very good advice here, Sam. CSW can hook you up, and I would mention the slightly expensive but as of last night extremely delicious '89 Grandmont from Breton. If you want to get a notion of what these wines can become with age, that would be some money well spent.

I agree with Tim that the variation between different sites is larger than the consistent variation between the towns, not to mention winemakers, and that I am personally unable to tell which town a given wine is from by tasting.

Pierre Breton has made both Chinon and Bourgeuil, but is giving up his vines in Picasses and will henceforth only make Bourgueuil. You can find older wines and try both, and perhaps you will have better luck than I have telling the towns apart with a constant winemaking hand. I would think that Perrieres would be the logical comparator for Picasses.

Note that Joguet hasn't made the wine there since '96. I find the older wines more interesting than recent vintages, although the wines aren't bad.
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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Dave Erickson » Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:49 pm

Can't think of a Bourgueil off the top, but I do have a note on a mighty fine Chinon:

2002 Serge et Bruno Sourdais Chinon “Les Clos” Loire; France. This is a nice ripe expression of cabernet franc made from vines that average 60 years in age. I get mostly black cherry aromas and flavors; for a Chinon, it’s positively sumptuous.
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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Tim York » Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:59 am

Joguet is said to have gone through an off-form spell in the second half of the 90s but my impression is that he is back on form with 2002, 2003 and 2004. My notes of a greart vertical of Chêne Vert in the archive give evidence of this.

That said I have a stock of 1996 Varennes, Chêne Vert and Dioterie; the first has been drinking very well for a few years and the last two are now opening up. Good showing for a supposedly then off-form estate!
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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Rahsaan » Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:34 am

As everyone has said below, the two appellations can be difficult to contrast in and of themselves.

But if you're interested in learning more about the "region" it might be useful to contrast Bourgueil/Chinon with Samur Champigny and then Anjou, at which point you do get three relatively identifiable geographical differences (not to mention the sauvignon in the Anjou).

Specific examples would depend on your local stores.
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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Sam Platt » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:24 am

Wow! Miss part of a day and miss a bunch of good answers to my question. I will print all of the recommendations and take them with me to the local wine mart. I'm guessing that they will not have a huge selection so I may have to go on-line to see what I can find.

I will report back on what I find.

Thanks to everyone.
Sam

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matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson
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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:47 am

I had a similar thread wrt Chinon last year and received similar answers, printed out the recommendations and took them to the largest wine store in the area. They had only one Chinon in stock, it was not on my list and it was an '03. :(
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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Sam Platt » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:07 pm

Just checked and the only thing available locally is the 1988 BAUDRY CHINON GREZEAUX. Only 33 USD. Is it worth picking up, or should I give it a pass and order on-line?
Sam

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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Rahsaan » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:06 am

Yes, should be interesting, and perhaps drinking very well right now. At the time that was his best site, and still has the oldest vines, although as Croix Boissee gets older the wines should develop even more finesse to match their power.

Haven't had the 88, but the 89 Grezeaux was wonderful and still quite young (to my tastes) last December, so given the vintage differences, I'd say this 88 should give you a nice example of mature Chinon. Assuming it's been stored well. Or was it a recent re-release?
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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby Manuel Camblor » Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:50 am

Excellent advice all around, I say. At this point all I can do is seocnd it almost on a wholesale basis. Having tasted the '89 Grandmont alongside SFJoe (well, at the other end of the table, but you know what I mean...) on Saturday night, I can attest to its excellence. A very true wine, supple and fabulously structured. And in reality, at around $45 it doesn't seem expensive to me at all, considering that that kind of money these days tends to buy you a middle-line California Pinot or the "second wine" from almost any Priorato producer.

I concur on the differences between the appellations, as well. In my experience, it's easier to tell sites apart than to try and establish any kind of broader parameter.

On reccos... I think most has been covered here. At this point, just call or e-mail the CSW guys and have them put together a little sompn'-sompn'.
Best,

LL
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Re: Bourgueil and Chinon?

Postby D. Updike » Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:55 pm

I second the advice to seek out some Pierre & Catherine Breton wines. Also, the Château de Coulaine Bonnaventure Chinon gets good reviews consistently at about $18.

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