Few wineries stand head and shoulders above an entire region and act as a driving force that other vignerons emulate or at least follow spiritually. With Clos Rougeard, however, this has undoubtedly been the case. Speak to any winemaker from Champagne to the Rhone Valley and you’ll only hear admiration for the wines the Foucault family has been producing here for generations.
What makes the work done here stand out is the uncompromising commitment to producing wines as naturally as possible, eschewing the use of any herbicides, pesticides or the likes in the vineyard and making the wines with plenty of patience and sulphur being the only additive. The result are some of the world’s greatest and most distinctive wines that we are happy to be able to work with.
Saumur Champigny Le Clos
Saumur Champigny Les Poyeux
Saumur Champigny Le Bourg
Domaine du Bel Air
Pierre Gauthier’s great grandfather started in 1880 with a small farm. After a few years he managed to purchase some land suitable for the vine that he planted following the phylloxera outbreak. Finally in the 1970’s the family stopped their farming activity to focus solely on winemaking.
Nowadays Pierre works with his son Rodolphe and daughter Sophie. The domaine has 18 hectares of cabernet franc mostly located in Benais and a bit in Restigné. All of their parcels have been organically farmed for over 20 years and certified since 2000.
The domaine produces both “vin de soif” that you should be drunk young and deep, terroir-driven wines that have excellent aging potential.
Once the grapes have been picked they are de-stemmed and sorted. They then go into stainless steel vats to start the fermentation, which generally starts after a period of cold-soaking. Fermentation is a slow process that usually last 8 days for the “vin de soif” up to 30 days for the single-vineyard wines. Gauthier does few remontages for his “vin de soif” whereas for the other cuvee he does pigeage and remontage. The “vin de soif” is aged on lies in stainless steel vats and bottled in the following spring, whereas the “parcelaire cuvées” are aged on fine lees in old barrels and demi-muids for 24 month in a Tuffeau cellar. Finally the wine is bottled without any filtration.
Bourgueil Jour de Soif
Bourgueil Les Vingt Lieux Dits
Bourgueil Les Marsaules
Bourgueil Grand Mont
Bourgueil Clos Nouveau
Chenin Blanc is having a bit of a revival recently. One of the main actors in this movement is Thibaud Boudignon. His first vintage was 2009, and ever since, he’s fine-tuned his viticultural and winemaking practices to the point that he now firmly stands at the very top of the qualitative pyramid in the Loire. His wines are searingly intense, precise and manage to combine ripe fruit with a freshness that is rarely seen.
These are without doubt some of the most exciting white wines made in all of France at the moment.
Anjou Blanc à François(e)…
Savennières Clos de la Hutte
Rosé de Loire