The third Brussels Salon (roughly = Show) of la Revue du Vin de France (RVF) was even more Bordeaux weighted than the first two. As well as taking up space which I would prefer to see filled by promising and achieving producers from less well known regions, I find young Bordeaux from all but lightest vintages like 2007 very difficult to taste because of burgeoning oak and tannins, both of which bring the additional disadvantage of paralysing my palate in record time. Fortunately two leading Loire producers of Cabernet franc based wines were exhibiting and I will concentrate on these here. Other ranges which I enjoyed were Jacky Blot’s superbly focussed Chenin based Montlouis and Vouvray (Dom. de la Taille aux Loups), Dirler Cadé’s excellent Alsatians and the Bandol from La Bastide Blanche, whilst Chanson’s Burgundies were good but I didn’t care for their rather condescending presenter.
The two CabFranc estates were Jacky Blot’s Domaine de la Butte
and Domaine Charles Joguet
. The contrast in styles was quite marked and was accentuated by the fact that the wines of the former were younger. Blot goes in for exuberant fruit and delightfully tangy acidity, whilst the Joguet wines seem more serious and subdued with a focus on a longer haul. My earlier post shows that Joguet’s top Chinon cuvées are capable of very graceful ageing with an ethereal elegance out to 20 years in good vintages and I think that they are not at their best at ages of 3-6 like those on show here. I have no experience of how well Blot’s Bourgueil ages because I drink mine so quickly
, but I have no reason to believe that the fact that they show so well when young means that they will have a short life; Madame Blot claims that Mi-Pente has a 30 year potential.Domaine de la Butte (Jacky Blot) – BourgueilPied de la Butte 2011
. This is their early drinking cuvée. The 2010 was superb and this 2011 will not be much inferior in spite of the vintage’s acid deficit (Blot also did a wonderful job keeping his whites fresh and lively). There was vibrant fruit, minerals, nice tangy acidity and a typical charcoal touch; 15.5/20.Haut de la Butte 2011
added leather touches and more substance and structure to the previous; already drinking well but with potential; 15.5/20 with + potential.Mi-pente 2010
already showed more suavity, complexity and elegance than the previous together with firmer tannic structure; should become a very fine bottle; 15.5/20+ now and potentially 16.5/20++.Domaine Chales Joguet – Chinon
These wines are never more than medium+ in body but are usually beautifully shaped with good tannic support for the finish. No new wood is used. My impressions about their potential is based on experience of previous vintages.Cuvée Terroir 2009
. This is the entry level cuvée. Being three years old it was already quite evolved in a positive way with round ripe fruit and discreet tang; 15/20+.
Several 2008s and a mini-vertical of Clos du Chêne Vert follow. In general I found the 2008s quite well constituted with good structure and lively non-astringent acidity but quite subdued aromatically. I guess that they are in a closed phase and will become more expressive in a few years.Les Petites Roches 2008
showed boiled sweet touches on the nose but the palate was quite austere at present; 14.5/20.Cuvée de la Cure 2008
. I have greatly enjoyed this cuvée in earlier vintages and this one was more open than Petites Roches showing liqueur hints and more complexity and structure; 15.5/20+ with + potential.Les Varennes du Grand Clos 2008
showed similar quality of fruit and perhaps more structure than the Cure but was aromatically more closed; 15/20 now with ++ potential.Clos du Chêne Vert
was the most open and best drinking from Joguet on show. The nose showed red fruit, grilled meat and leather notes and the palate was charming with fuller body, rounder and sweeter fruit and more complexity than any of the others. I love the 06s but wonder about their longevity; 16.5/20+.
was notably more austere and tannic than the previous and is still aromatically quite closed. I wouldn’t open this now if I had any but believe that it will be a 16/20+ wine in a few years.
was even more closed aromatically but fuller bodied, sweeter fruited and more tannic than 2008. It definitely needs time but I can see it becoming 17/20+. Clos de la Dioterie 2009
was already more expressive and generous aromatically than Chêne Vert but otherwise similar. Nevertheless I wouldn’t drink it now as I would expect the tannins to become rounder and better covered in a few years; also 17/20+ potentially but a bit sooner than the previous.