About this WINE
Clos Rougeard is situated in the tiny village of Chacé, within the Saumur-Champigny appellation, renowned for its exceptional Cabernet Franc wines. Its history dates back to the 17th century when the property was established and passed through the generations. In the middle of the 20th century, the estate passed to the Foucault brothers Bernard (Nady) and Jean-Louis (Charly) Foucault.
Nady and Charly were pioneers of organic viticulture, eschewing chemicals to make wines as naturally as possible and inspiring other winemakers to follow their lead. Charly passed away in 2015, and the estate was sold to the Bouygues family - owners of Château Montrose in Saint-Estèphe - in 2017.
The domaine’s 11 hectares of vines are spread across 20 plots, mostly on clay and limestone soil. 4 wines are produced: 3 reds under the Saumur-Champigny appellation and a white Saumur from Brézé. Of the red cuvées, Le Clos - a blend of several plots – drinks earliest. Les Poyeux is typically elegant and delicate, while Le Bourg is the most age-worthy wine.
The arrival of Martin and Olivier Bouygues saw significant investment, particularly in a new winery building, which opened officially in 2023. Richard Desouche and Jacques-Antoine Toublanc now head up the domaine in the vines and winery, aiming to maintain the exceptionally high standards achieved by the Foucault brothers.
The Saumur-Champigny wine region is located in the Loire Valley of France, specifically within the Anjou-Saumur area. It is renowned for producing high-quality red wines from Cabernet Franc and has held the prestigious designation of an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) since 1957.
Geographically, the region is situated on the banks of the Loire River, characterized by a diverse terroir that contributes to the unique characteristics of its wines. The vines benefit from a temperate climate influenced by the river, with warm summers and mild winters. The surrounding landscape features limestone slopes and a mix of clay, gravel, and sand soils, providing excellent drainage and ideal conditions for grape cultivation.
The dominant grape variety in Saumur-Champigny is Cabernet Franc, known locally as "Breton." It thrives in the region's terroir and produces red wines renowned for their elegance, finesse, and aromatic complexity. Cabernet Franc from Saumur-Champigny is typically characterized by its vibrant red fruit flavors, including raspberry, red currant, and cherry, along with herbal and floral notes such as violet and graphite.
Winemaking in Saumur-Champigny emphasizes the expression of the grape variety and the unique terroir. Vineyard practices include meticulous grape selection, manual harvesting, and sustainable viticultural techniques. Many producers are also adopting organic and biodynamic farming methods to enhance the quality and authenticity of the wines.
Saumur-Champigny wines are typically aged in various vessels, including stainless steel tanks, oak barrels, or a combination, depending on the winemaker's preferences. The aging process allows the wines to develop further complexity and refine their structure.
These red wines are celebrated for versatility, making them suitable for immediate consumption and aging, and they pair well with various dishes, including roasted meats, game, charcuterie, and cheeses.
Cabernet Franc is widely planted in Bordeaux and is the most important black grape grown in the Loire. In the Médoc it may constitute up to 15% of a typical vineyard - it is always blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is used to add bouquet and complexity to the wines. It is more widely used in St.Emilion where it adapts well to the cooler and moister clay soils - Cheval Blanc is the most famous Cabernet Franc wine in the world, with the final blend consisting of up to 65% of the grape.
Cabernet Franc thrives in the Loire where the cooler growing conditions serve to accentuate the grape's herbaceous, grassy, lead pencil aromas. The best wines come from the tuffeaux limestone slopes of Chinon and Bourgeil where growers such as Jacky Blot produce intense well-structured wines that possess excellent cellaring potential.