About this WINE
Domaine de la Chevalerie, Bourgueil
Founded in 1640, Domaine de la Chevalerie celebrate their fourteenth generation as Stephanie (commercial) and Emmanuel (viticulture) Caslot step up alongside their father Pierre, thereby injecting a dose of pace to their otherwise traditionally-shaped wines. Indeed, they have been converting to organic viiticulture since 2003 and they are certified as such by ECOCERT from the 2009 harvest; they are also experimenting with biodynamics.
Located next door to Bourgueil in the village of Restigne, the Domaine comprises 33 hectares of Cabernet Franc (ex 1500ha for the appellation) lying on predominantly south-facing river terraces & slopes made up (in ascending order) of aeolian/wind blown sand, gravels, clay & tuffeau (Turonien chalk). Short pruning, low yields, hand harvesting, & sorting tables contribute to a finer finished product, while wild yeast ferments, cool macerations, and 2-4 year old demi-muid and up to eight months elevage complete the canvas.
Peu Muleau is from 35 year old vines at the top of the sunny slope overlooking Restigne, on aeolian sand to give pretty violet-scented wines for earlier drinking while Chevalerie benefits from south-west facing 70 year old vines on sandy clay over limestone to deliver more structured wines for up to 20 years cellaring.
Bourgueil is a qualitatively-important, dry red wine appellation in Touraine, if quantitatively small (1,500 hectares).
Located west of Tours, its vineyards are planted with Cabernet Franc on calcareous clay and sandy soils gently inclined south, towards the River Loire. The wines are medium to full-bodied and fleshy, possessing rich, perfumed raspberry and forest-fruit characters, underpinned by a fine structure with the potential for up to 20 years ageing. Wines are vinified for up to 18 months in French oak barrels.
Recommended producers: Domaine de la Butte (Jacky Blot), Domaine de la Chevalerie
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.