Cult Rougeard Disciple
Domaine Guiberteau Reds:
2011 Saumur Rouge Les Motelles
2011 Saumur Rouge Les Arboises
In no time, Romain Guiberteau has gone from being unheard of to needing little in the way of introduction.
I can't think of any Loire producer who has captured people's attention as quickly and as intensely as Guiberteau has.
It's really hard to find his wines in any quantity. The wines are famous in France and get snapped up by 3-star restaurants. In the States, you're lucky to be allocated 6-12 bottles.
The story here is pretty simple: great terroir, mentorship from the Foucaults of Clos Rougeard, an insane amount of dedication, and consequently, some of the most regal and refined Loire wines around.
A friend who is very much dialed into the happenings of the Loire mentioned Guiberteau a couple of years ago. Curious, I tracked the wines down and was really impressed. I've been hunting them ever since. A case here, a case there.
Today, I'm happy to present a small parcel of Guiberteau's top reds, Les Motelles and Les Arboises, from the 2011 vintage.
Les Motelles comes from super-low yields on gravel and sand over clay. These are Guiberteau's oldest vines planted by his grandfather in 1955. Les Motelles always offers the headiest aromatics of dark cherry fruit, spice and smokey minerality.
Les Arboises is a subsection of the famous limestone dominated Brézé vineyard. Compared to Les Motelles, you get a sleeker, more restrained and refined expression. It's exactly what you'd expect from limestone in the hands of a sensitive winemaker.
2011 was a wacky vintage in the Loire: an unusually warm and dry spring was followed by a cool, rainy summer. The vines welcomed the rain since they had seen so little for the first half of the year, but it also required a lot of work and selection from the growers. Guiberteau judged the vintage really, really well. He fully capitalized on the suave tannins that the vintage produced, creating a very refined expression of Cabernet Franc while endowing the wines with an uncommon depth.
I wish I had more of these to offer, but at the same time, I'm happy to just have some to offer. We're only sending this to a small list and on a low-key Sunday. Still, we'll probably have to allocate.
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