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A Terrific, Sub-$15 Everyday Red from a Favorite Artisanal Producer - 11/03/2017 - Loire Valley

For those looking for a pitch-perfect red for everyday drinking, may we recommend the delightful 2014 Domaine Les Pins "Le Clos les Pins" Bourgueil. This Cabernet Franc based charmer is a wine we’ve enjoyed for several vintages with this 2014 among the best we’ve had. Domaine Les Pins is one of the most talented and respected producers in the Loire Valley appellation of Bourgueil with roots in the region going back five generations. "Le Clos les Pins" stands at the top of their very impressive portfolio and is sourced from the best plots from their 30 hectares under vines. The attention to detail from vine to bottle is truly astounding with the superlative results shining through in the glass. With a velvety texture and bright red fruits, it immediately captivates with the first sip and keeps on going. Accents of peppery spice and a core of minerality add layers and dimension not often found in wines of a similar price. As we’ve seen with previous vintages, it has the ability of age upwards of two decades making it a perfect candidate to enjoy now and many years hence. Scroll below for the glowing reviews from both the press and our staff and you’ll understand why we are so impressed with the "Le Clos les Pins.”

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2014 Domaine Les Pins "Le Clos les Pins" Bourgueil 92 $14.99 View
2004 Domaine Les Pins "Le Clos les Pins" Bourgueil $21.99 View
2004 Domaine Les Pins "Vieilles Vignes" Bourgueil $24.99 View


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2014 Domaine Les Pins "Le Clos les Pins" Bourgueil ($14.99)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is the top wine from Pitault-Landry at Domaine les Pins. It is concentrated, ripe and firmly structured. Wood aging has smoothed the texture and brought out the red fruits. It still could age further with its generous fruitiness. Drink from late 2017. *Cellar Selection* (RV)" (01/2017)

90 points Wine Spectator: "Lively red and black cherry fruit is stitched liberally with a dried bay leaf thread, finishing with a lively olive accent on the finish. (JM)" (11/2016)

K&L Notes: Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations. They are a small artisanal producer that oversees every stage of production from start to finish themselves. They have roughly 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc spread out through the Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil regions. They practice sustainable farming and each and every vine gets singular attention throughout the year. Vines of an average age of 25 years are planted in sandy, clay, and gravel soils. After harvest, grapes are de-stemmed, sorted, and put into tank for spontaneous fermentation to begin. After being pressed off and letting malolactic fermentation happen, the wine is put into concrete tank for at least 10 months prior to bottling.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 24, 2017

Loire Valley's Cabernet Franc based wines have been my favorite go to reds for everyday drinking for the past few years. I love the bold black cherry, herbs and spices. The medium bodied texture of most of the wines whether they come from Saumur, Anjou, Chinon or in this case Bourgueil is always appealing and food ready. Plus alcohol levels are restrained. I never feel like I'm shorting myself on flavor over extract because flavor is always there. Now, this particular Bourgueil comes from a single parcel of some of the the best vines from Domaine Les Pins. This wine has all of the above but with a measured depth that makes it transcend. Any doubt this will age is removed if you happen to try the exceptional 2004, which is also available. But 2014 is probably the superior vintage in the long run. Ample structure but still finesse, I can see this becoming one of my favorite holiday reds. It will cozy up to all things fowl (especially duck or smoked turkey) and especially that rib roast I've been craving as of late. There is little that this versatile wine won't match up with whether it be now or a few years hence. A really special wine regardless of price.

Staff ImageSharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 30, 2017

That classic Cab Franc nose is present along with a mineral component and white pepper. On the palate the fruit is more concentrated, with more candied red berry qualities that make it an easy-drinking wine that is perfect on its own. Fun and juicy!

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 18, 2017

This is a classic and tasty Cabernet Franc . I think that it is a food wine and will go well with hearty foods. It is medium bodied with dark red fruit flavors that have layers of mineral and some earth notes. There is a nice crisp finish that helps round this wine out.

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 17, 2017

Domaine Les Pins has been family owned for five generations, working out of the Bourgueil in the Loire Valley. The estate plants Cabernet Franc exclusively, and as a part of the Vignerons Indépendants de France, they are committed to sustainability and respect for their craft. They must work and harvest their own vineyard, make and bottle their own wine and maintain viticultural traditions. The care they take to ensure a quality wine is evident and this Cabernet Franc is a lovely wine to drink now, or cellar for a few years. It's soft and bright with velvety tannin and juicy acidity. An incredibly food friendly wine, this has notes of iris, violets, raspberries, blackberries and a gravely minerality. A great wine to stock up on for fall!

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2004 Domaine Les Pins "Le Clos les Pins" Bourgueil ($21.99)

We’ve been working with Domaine les Pins in Bourgueil for several years now, and the wines continually over-deliver for the money. Domaine les Pins is a family estate and independent vigneron for five generations. Unlike most growers in the region, their family has been producing and bottling their own wines instead of selling to the local cooperative. On our recent visit, vignerons Philippe and Christophe Pitault-Landry were kind enough to dig some older bottles out of the cellar to show us how the wines evolve. I immediately homed in on their two 2004s. After a little negotiating we were able to convince them to sell us a small parcel of each. (Keith Mabry, K&L French Regional buyer)

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 20, 2017

The 2004 Le Clos les Pins was brimming with notes of tobacco, leather and spices. The fruit has mellowed but is ever-present, showing the classic style of the sandy and gravelly soils. This still has a long way to go.

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 17, 2017

This earthy Bourgueil is rustic and Bistro ready, with all the characteristics of a classic Cabernet Franc from the region. Savory accords of allspice, umami and green olive give way to a smoky yet light palate with a complexity that only comes with age. Take it to dinner, or pair it with your own attempts at French cuisine!

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2004 Domaine Les Pins "Vieilles Vignes" Bourgueil ($24.99)

Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations. They are a small artisanal producer which oversees every stage of the production from start to finish themselves. They have roughly 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc spread out through the Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil regions. They practice sustainable farming and each and every vine get singular attention throughout the year. Vines of an average age of 25 years are planted in sandy, clay and gravel soils. After harvest, grapes are de-stemmed, sorted and put into tank for spontaneous fermentation to begin. After being pressed off and letting malolactic fermentation happen, the wine is put into concrete tank for at least 10 months prior to bottling.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 19, 2017

Weve been working with Domaine les Pins in Bourgueil for several years now and the wines continually over-deliver for the money. On our recent visit, vignerons Philippe and Christophe Pitault-Landry were kind enough to dig some older bottles out of the cellar to show us how the wines evolve. I immediately homed in on their two 2004sthe Les Clos des Pins and Vieilles Vignes. After a little negotiating we were able to convince them to sell us a small parcel of each. The 2004 Vieilles Vignes Bourgueil was remarkably persistent on the palate, showing flavors of strawberries, clove and truffle nuances. It is still quite powerful in the mouth and loaded with body and texture. This could easily withstand another decade of evolution. Both are tremendous successes and demonstrate the ageability of Cabernet Franc, even from a modestly priced producer such as this.