Rougeard Disciple - Rare Loire
2010 Saumur Blanc Brézé
2010 & 2011 Saumur Blanc Clos de Guichaux
2010 Saumur Rouge Les Motelles
For the past couple months, I've been quietly and diligently trying to amass Guiberteau's wines.
These are some of the most exciting wines coming out of the Loire, but require some hard work to locate in any quantity.
All in all, this two month exercise has been a failure. Guiberteau's wines are famous in France and get snapped up by 3-star restaurants.
After lots of hard work, I have a pitiful amount - under three cases of each wine to offer. These wines deserve lots of attention, but quantities available require me to sneak this offer at the start of a holiday weekend.
A friend who is very much dialed into the happenings of the Loire mentioned Guiberteau a couple of years ago. Basically, he said: they have great sites, especially choice parcels in Brézé, the Foucaults of Clos Rougeard were mentors, and the wines are just stunning.
It was impossible not to be curious. It took some time to track down the wines, but once I tasted them I immediately started hunting them down. The whites are some of the most regally elegant and deeply mineral renditions that you'll ever taste. The reds take Cab Franc to a new level of refined texture.
The domaine has seen a few pivotal moments: first, in the fifties, Robert Guiberteau, bought several parcels in Brézé, one of the greatest sites in the Loire. After that, the arrival of Romain Guiberteau, Robert's son, in 1996 proved to be decisive. He took over the vineyards, which had been leased out after Robert retired. In little time, Romain established the domaine as one of the most exciting and sought after in the Loire.
The Clos de Guichaux is a monopole walled vineyard right near Brézé. Both the 2010 and 2011 Clos de Guichaux are don't miss wines. These are deeply complex, noble Chenins that offer tremendous value and really good aging potential. Clos de Guichaux offers up a bit more orchard fruit and spice than Brézé, all wrapped around that chalky core of minerality. The 2011 is less stern in the acid department and is the one for near-to-mid-term drinking. The 2010 is really impressive, but after checking out a bottle it's best to place it in the cellar for a few more years.
Brézé with its clay-rich limestone soils has for centuries been considered one of the Loire's Grand Crus. The ultra-clear 2010 vintage is an ideal one to witness how Guiberteau handles this great site. Guiberteau's 2010 Brézé delivers an incredible finesse and length with a smoky, chalky mineral spine that is animated by ripe citrus, honey and gentle exotic notes. This is a wine of beautiful lift and elegance. It's impossible not imagine this benefitting from a decade plus in the cellar.
Finally, there's the 2010 Saumur Rouge Les Motelles that comes from super-low yields on gravel and sand over limestone. There's a very suave texture, a beautiful sense of refinement and a very precise combination of dark reds fruits, minerals and spice.
Guiberteau has maintained a relatively low profile in the states, but this is clearly changing. In the past couple of weeks, images of bottles have been popping up again and again on social media. With quantities being as limited they are, the time to check these out is now. It's only a matter of time before word gets out.
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