Vinified in new (20%) and up to four-year-old barrels, the 2015 Saumur Blanc Brézé exhibits a deep, intensely fruity and chalky, concentrated and elegant bouquet of perfectly ripe fruits, orange and grapefruit, as well as fine iodine notes. Silky, round and highly elegant on the palate, this is a rich and powerful, incredibly aromatic, round and finely iodine Chenin Blanc of exceptional quality. The wine is intensely fruity, juicy, ripe, refined and elegant, finely grippy and salty, and it finishes with lovely orange bitters. An impressive Chenin Blanc for hedonists, it has developed dramatically well in the last three years. 13.5% alcohol. Natural cork.
Drink 2021 - 2060
Stephen Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (Oct 2021)
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.
Chenin Blanc is an important white grape variety planted in the Anjou-Saumur and Touraine regions of the Loire Valley and the most widely planted varietal grape in South Africa.
In the Loire it produces high quality dry wines in Savenniéres, and luscious sweet, dessert wines in Coteaux du Layon, Bonnezeaux and Quarts de Chaume. In Vouvray and Montlouis it can be dry, medium dry, or sweet, and still or sparkling. Whether dry or sweet, the best Loire Chenin Blancs possess marvellously concentrated rich, honeyed fruit together with refreshingly vibrant acidity. It is Chenin Blanc's high acidity that enable the wines to age so well.
In South Africa Chenin Blanc is easier to grow and is prized for its versatility. It is used as a cheap blending option with Chardonnay, Colombard, and Muscat but also bottled unblended. The best producers keep their yields low and produce impressive mouthfilling wines.