2015 Domaine Les Pins "Les Rochettes" Bourgueil

SKU #1297573 91 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is structured young Bourgueil, with its stalky dry fruits and spicy character. The fruit is ripe with good potential for aging as the cedar character subsides and the generous fruit takes over. Drink from 2018. *Editors' Choice* (RV)  (1/2017)

K&L Notes

A rich ruby red with notes of violets and red berry fruits, this Cabernet Franc is nicely layered on the palate with brightness running throughout and just a touch of smoke mixed in with some purple fruits. Soft waves of mineral with a nice soft tannin make this a true delight to drink. 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 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.

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Price: $11.99
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Staff Image By: Morgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/29/2017 | Send Email
Domaine les Pins is a family run estate spanning five generations of vignerons. Their vineyards are exclusively planted with Cab Franc, and their dedication to the grape shows in this amazing bottle. Fresh, easy drinking and super food friendly, this is an awesome everyday red to have on hand.

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/6/2017 | Send Email
My visit to Bourgueil earlier this year was a revelation. And for those not in the know (because I really didn't know that much myself), Bourgueil is one of the lesser known Cabernet Franc appellations sitting on the north side of the Loire River just across from Chinon. About 30 minutes west of Tours gets you to the village of Bourgeuil. Farms traverse the landscape with a mixture of agriculture but grapes dominate the view. I have long been a fan of Cabernet Franc. I find it to be one of the more versatile reds for pairing with food and I love lower alcohol and medium-bodied textured wines which make Cab Franc a must mid-week drink for me. Upon arriving at Domaine les Pins we met with vigneron Philippe Pitault-Landry. A father-son venture now, these detail oriented farmers are making reds that smell like classic Cabernet but with Pinot-like texture. We tasted the new releases and the 2015 "Les Rochettes" was out of the gate charming. Full of brushy herbal notes of sage and wild thyme, ripe black cherries and flavors of olive tapenade, this is a sumptuous red that is weighty and yet light on its feet. The vintage of 2015 is a huge success for them and for the region, offering a generosity of fruit that make the wines more inviting and immediately accessible. We drifted through the single plot, Les Clos and the Vieilles Vignes as well and they were most impressive. Alas, those wines are due a little later in the year along with some older wines from their cellar. The Les Rochettes though is truly the red of the summer for me. It's versatility will make it an easy foil for things like roast chicken, grilled pork chops and leg of lamb. Lots of herbs and lots of veggies to go with those and you will become as enamored with Bourgueil as I am now. This is a lot of wine from people who really believe in what they are doing and would easily be twice the price from a more famous region.

Staff Image By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/20/2017 | Send Email
The bouquet of this wine instantly brought me back to my childhood in Ontario, Canada, where, every summer, I'd pick wild strawberries and make preserves with my mom. Wonderful berry fruit from the warm 2015 vintage is present, along with purple flowers and a savory element not unlike black olives. On the palate the fruit has plenty of juicy depth and character with mineral notes and tannins that balance, not overwhelm. I enjoyed this with shredded, leftover roasted chicken leg tossed in a simple spinach salad with fennel and shallots. It would be equally enjoyable with pork tenderloin or warm farro salad with roasted vegetables. This is a fantastic wine.

Staff Image By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/6/2017 | Send Email
Riper berry fruit thanks to the healthy 2015 vintage, but with plenty of traditional green notes of brush and savory olive, plus blue floral aromatics, this is classic Cabernet Franc that shows lift and earthiness without sacrificing superior drinkability. Domaine Les Pins is an easy intro to Bourgueil, and if you’re not interested in exploring Loire Valley appellations, "Les Rochettes" is a bright, delicious, unbelievably-priced addition to your summer red lineup.

Staff Image By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/1/2017 | Send Email
Les Pins is a small producer out of Bourgueil, in the Loire Valley, a small region you may never have heard of, but ought to pay attention to. It is the neighboring region to the famous Chinon. I find the wines of Bourgueil to be a bit more pretty, less fleshy and more structured - and typically of greater value. The "Les Rochettes" is no exception, perfumed with notes of violets, sage and blackberry which leads into a palate of tilled earth, red plums, raspberries and a thread of black pepper. This medium-bodied, lifted red pairs perfectly with pork loin, mushroom based dished, and even game meats.

Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/31/2017 | Send Email
This gorgeous example of cab franc is the perfect introduction to this special grape. The varietal is so often neglected, although a darling of the serious nerds, it rubs so many people the wrong way. Here we have this incredible vibrant example of the special grape of the right bank in it's most approachable yet authentic expression. Vibrant earthy red fruit and only the slightest hint of greenness followed by a lovely lifted medium body. Perfect red to have around as summer bbq season starts to heat up.

Staff Image By: Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/31/2017 | Send Email
A great and FRESH cabernet franc that is just as affordable as it is delicious. The herbal aromas and fresh fruit make this an easy go to for any oven roasted bird.

Staff Image By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/20/2017 | Send Email
This is a truly lovely bottle of wine, whether you are accustomed to Bourgueil, or just looking for a new value red wine. The Cabernet Franc in this wine is neither harsh nor green, but rather displays soft and succulent black berry fruit with a medium body and just a hint of black pepper spice. The wine is extremely well-balanced and quite accessible right off the bat. We owe a lot here to the character and quality of the vintage, but the elegance of the wine making also contributes to the overall harmony of the wine. Try one and see why we are all so excited about this offering!

Staff Image By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/19/2017 | Send Email
I’ve been drinking “Les Rochettes” for awhile. It’s such a great representation of Bourgueil at a killer price, but this vintage is something special. 2015 is by now well known for its warmth and ripeness across France, and it has imparted “Les Rochettes” with structure and personality like never before. The riper phenolics highlight flavors of violets, cranberry, stewed bell peppers and herbs while the tannins provide more grip and structure, giving the impression of a wine at a much higher price-point. If you enjoy Cab Franc, this is one value wine not to pass up.

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/19/2017 | Send Email
The Les Pins "Les Rochettes Bourgueil" has already been one of my go to wines for interesting people in Cab Franc from Loire who may not be very familiar with this varietal from this area. However in the 2015 vintage this good wine has become spectacular especially for the price. The lushness of the vintage shows itself in a more dark and bing cherry characteristic and practically no bell pepper unlike previous vintages. Although there are still lovely notes of savory herb and a touch of spice the fruit really sings in this bottle. A somewhat chewy finish compliments the medium body and makes this a fantastic everyday food wine.

Additional Information:


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.


- 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.


- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13