2010 Domaine de la Chevalerie "Bretêche" Bourgueil

SKU #1176902 91 points Wine & Spirits

 Bretêche is higher up the slope than Galichets (recommended below), its soils layering clay and limestone over tuffeau. The Caslot family ferments their wines without added yeast and ages them for two or more years in 400- to 500-liter oak casks. This is an ambitious wine, powerfully extracted, clean in its highlights of blue fruit, warm and ripe in the finish. It’s a mouthwatering, juicy pleasure, suited to aging or to decanting for roast meats.  (4/2015)

Vinous

 Medium ruby. Floral aromas of redcurrant, graphite and tobacco. Supple on the attack, then juicy on the middle palate, offering attractive red berry and spice flavors. Finishes with soft, slightly dry tannins. An easy-drinking Cabernet Franc from a cooler site in the estate’s vast vineyards. (JP)  (12/2014)

K&L Notes

Certified organic since 2009, this domaine has been in the hands of the Caslot family since 1640, long before there was any other way of farming. Today, Stéphanie and her brother Emmanuel run the estate. There are over 80 acres of vines on the property; this wine is made with one of the two parcels that the family rents: Grand Mont to the west and Bretêche to the east. From the producer's notes: "Here the soils are relatively heavy with clay and limestone, without much sand, making for mouth-filling Bourgueils. These vineyards are always harvested below 40 hectoliters per hectare (the legal permitted maximum yield is 55 hl/ha). The wines are made with indigenous yeast and usually bottled without fining or filtration. They are deliciously meaty, dense, and astonishingly age-worthy Loire Cabernet Francs. Bretêche is an old word referring to a window or entrance to a fortified building, often above a gate to enable defenders to rain arrows or what have you upon attackers. It can also refer to entrances and exits in general, and this particular vineyard grows on the edge of the Restigné commune, where a road comes in. Pierre Caslot planted his parcel between 1988 and 1992 after his wife inherited the rights to rent it from her family. They farm just over 13 acres here. The soils are young limestone and a little clay, and this makes for a long, more linear wine than Galichets or Chevalerie, one with evident stony aromatics, lift and focus given by the limestone."

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By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/19/2015 | Send Email
A wonderful and versatile medium bodied red. The Breteche is soft and velvet-like with dark fruit flavors and a nice dry finish. It will go well with many types of food from meat to vegetarian dishes.

By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/1/2015 | Send Email
Some people are often turned off by Cabernet Franc because of the green, vegetal characteristics that tend to dominate. But this is a cab franc everyone can get down with. Very clean and elegant, with beautiful finesse you so often get from places like Bourgueil. Notes of violets, pine, slate and iron, it’s all earth but with none of the funky green notes. Absolutely spectacular.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Franc

- While Cabernet Franc, a parent with Sauvignon Blanc to the ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon, frequently plays second fiddle in Bordeaux blends (though it does get more props on the Right Bank, where it dominates Cheval Blanc), this lighter, higher acid/lower tannin, early-maturing, perfumed red varietal is far from a wallflower. It is the headliner in the Loire Valley appellations of Saumur-Champigny, Bourgueil, St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Chinon and Anjou-Villages, where it makes exceptional, food-friendly wines. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc can be found in northern Italy, particularly in Friuli and in California where it is frequently used as a blending grape in Bordeaux-style wines. Heartier in the cold than Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc is gaining a foothold in northern and eastern wine regions like Canada, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Loire

- Of all of the French wine producing regions, the Loire might produces the greatest variety of wines. They range from still to sparkling, very dry and acidic to hearty sweet, and clear in color to a deep purple. The diversity of wine produced in this region is due in part to its dynamic climate, which ranges from Continental to Mediterranean. This region is best known for Sauvignon blanc, Chenin blanc and Cabernet Franc. The most famous areas in the Loire Valley may be Sancerre and Vouvray.
Organic: