Got together with a group of folks to taste some Bourgueil. The leader of this pack was introduced to me by Mr. Rockss and Fruit himself.
2006 Breton Bourgueil Franc de Pied
Being its normal temperamental self. Good bottles are fantastic, but it has to be in the mood, not you. This did get better after a few hours in the decanter, but was still underwhelming because you know how good it can be. A wine I really don’t buy anymore, but will drink at restaurants from time to time.
2005 Yannick Amirault Bourgueil La Coudraye
I guesss the best way to describe this wine is “correct”. All the right stuff in all the right places. Balanced and bright. I’d be perfectly happy with this off a restaurant list, but not something I’d seek out.
2005 Breton Breton Bourgueil Clos Sénéchal
Not surprisingly, this was the best wine of the night, and clearly so. What was surprising was how approachable it was. Almost feathery in its delineation as rocky in its detail as Sénéchal often is. I love the blue-ishness of the fruit with the dark grey stoniness of the wine. There is a hard to describe textural feel to the wine, maybe it’s the striations of slate, or some such. You’ll know it when you taste it. In many ways, this is my favorite wine that the Bretons make, even if it isn’t the most important one (that distinction goes to the sublime Perrières). A wine to seek out and buy in as much quantity as affordable.
2005 Chanteleuserie Bourgueil Vieilles Vignes
Just like I remember them. A meatier, brawnier, earthier interpretation of the idiom. This was the first Bourgueil I remember having and I don’t think the style has changed in all that time. Certainly more rustic, but if you’re in the mood, it would do nicely. Should age well in the medium term. It is still pretty cheap and could be one of those wines you cellar for a couple of years and then use as a house red. Certainly worth thinking about.
2005 Yannick Amirault Bourgueil Les Quartiers
This was the biggest, and maybe most 2005, wine of the evening. Really deep, ripe, and rich fruit. Very large and broad with tons of fruit over the structure. This is one of those wines to serve to people who don’t think they like Loire reds. Or maybe not, fuck those people. Anyway, I might try to hunt down a few bottles of this as it could make interesting old bones if the underlying structure I sense develops in the right way. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this.
2004 Domaine Jo Pithon Anjou Les Bergères
I brought this because we never seem to have a white for the end of the night and my recent experience with an excellent Pithon Savennières had me curious. While this wasn’t at the same level as that wine, it was a very good expression of chenin from 2004. By that I mean, generous, a bit honeyed and ready to go tonight. Glad I brought it or we wouldn’t have had anything to drink with the cheese…