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MWG tasting with Pierre Breton: report

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Loire winemaker Pierre Breton, who with his wife Catherine owns Domaine Breton, was in town for the Salon des vins d’importation privée. On Friday, November 4, just off the plane from Paris, he came to the MWG’s subterranean lair to lead a tasting of six wines from his current release.

As a group, the wines seemed like a reflection of the man: natural, precise, articulate, speaking of their place, never shouting, always repaying close attention.

Vouvray 2010, La Dilettante ($21.35)
100% Chenin Blanc. Undergoes malo to soften the acidity. Spends eight months in two- to three-year-old barrels. Nose of wax, chalk, hints of honeydew melon and wet wool, gaining a floral note as the evening wore on. Soft on the attack. Pure flavours as minerally as they are fruity. A refreshing sourness but no sharpness. Straightforward yet also layered and very long. Delicious and oh, so drinkable. Serve on its own or with fish, white meats, sweetbreads. A favourite of everyone at the tasting.

Bourgueil 2010, Trinch ($21.35)
Young-vine Cabernet Franc. Brambly red berries and black currants along with the leaves and stems, spice, hints of game, charcoal and eventually gingerbread. Soft on the palate: a light but velvety texture and very pure fruit. Clean finish with a slight tannic rasp.  Simple but in no way boring. Served lightly chilled, a wine for pounding back. Not a keeper.

Chinon 2010, Beaumont ($21.35)
100% Cab Franc. The bottle at the tasting was, unfortunately, ever so slightly corked. It was still possible to see that this is a medium-bodied, well-balanced wine, more structured than the Trinch, with ripe fruit and some aging potential.

Bourgueil 2009, Clos Sénéchal ($29.60)
100% Cab Franc. A wine to cellar while drinking your Trinch and Beaumont. Closed but deep nose of spice, red fruit, green leaves and slate. Medium-bodied. Intensely pure fruit. Fine structure. Tight but not harsh tannins. Long. Give it four or five years in the cellar and it’ll be singing (or, if unable to defer the pleasure, carafe it for a couple of hours).

Bourgueil 2009, Nuits d’Ivresse ($45)
100% Cab Franc. The nose again closed, more spicy than fruity, with an underlay of leafmould and slate. Tight yet supple on the palate, the fruit, tannins and acidity adroitly balanced. Long, savoury finish and a lingering dryness. Not very expressive – a little austere, even – but full of potential.

Bourgueil 2009, Les Perrières ($30)
Price notwithstanding, Les Perrières is the domaine’s flagship cuvée. Made from old-vine (70+ years) Cab Franc, aged in one- to two-year-old casks. Pierre says that in good vintages it can last up to 40 years. The 2009 has a more expressive nose than the Nuits’s: dried dill, sweet fruit, spice box and a hint of oak. More supple and accessible. Pure and balanced, the core of sweet fruit wrapped in a tight net of tannins. Long, astringent finish. Will only improve with time.

Bourgueil 2005, Les Perrières ($35, importation valise)
Beginning to open up. Gorgeous bouquet, the kind you can get lost in: sweet fruit, violets, turned earth, planed wood and a whiff of spicy perfume. Still very young but the tannins are more evolved, less astringent than the 2009’s, the texture more caressing, with a promise of silkiness in store. Ripe fruit swells on the mid-palate. Long, earthy finish. A beautiful bottle.

All the wines except the last are brought in by oenopole, though they’re disappearing fast (I’ve already seen the Vouvray prominently featured on three restaurant wine lists).

Written by carswell

November 7, 2011 at 22:45

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  1. […] held a monopoly on. Somebody send these people a case of David’s Hurluberlu or Breton’s Trinch! (Buy again? At $17.95, maybe. At $11.75, for […]

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