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MWG October 2nd tasting: Cabernet Francness

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Guiberteau makes three red Saumurs, all from Cabernet Franc. For each, the organically farmed grapes are picked by hand, sorted and fully destemmed. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts and maceration take place in concrete vats and last ten to 60 days depending on the vintage and cuvée. Nothing is added during the winemaking process except a minimal amount of sulphur dioxide at bottling.

Saumur 2013, Domaine Guiberteau ($25.15, 10516465)
100% Cabernet Franc from organically farmed vines planted in 1955 and 1957. About three-quarters of the fruit typically comes from Les Arboises and the remainder from Les Motelles. Maturation is in neutral (third- and fourth-fill) barrels for nine to 18 months depending on the vintage. About 10,000 bottles made. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Les vins Alain Bélanger.
A little sweaty and farty at first but then a classic Cabernet Franc nose of red berries, spice (“cardamom” per one taster), dried wood and green pepper. Medium-bodied and dry, young and bright. The fruit is pure, the acidity sweet, the tannins slender and just firm enough. The long finish is marked by mineral and forest floor aromas and hint of black licorice. Refreshing and so easy to drink. The winemaker says this will age five to ten years from vintage, but I’d find its youthful freshness hard to resist. (Buy again? For sure.)

Saumur 2011, Les Motelles, Domaine Guiberteau ($44.00, 12114822)
Planted in 1955, Les Motelles in a 1.4-hectare lieu-dit located in Montreuil-Bellay. The soil is gravelly clay. Guiberteau keeps the yields at an astoundingly low 25 hl/ha. Matured in second-, third- and fourth-fill barrels for at least 18 months. In most years, about 4,000 bottles are made. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Les vins Alain Bélanger.
Ash, red and black currants, dried leaf and slate. Lush and velvety on the surface. Despite the underlying acidity, the wine comes across as a bit lumbering alongside the other two wines in the flight, lacking the domaine’s fleetness and the Arboises’s refinement. The ripe fruit holds no hint of greenness while the tannins are round and plush. The wood is detectable only on the long finish and will be fully integrated in a year or two. The winemaker says this will age more than ten years. (Buy again? A fine wine but I’d pony up the extra $8 and buy the Arboises.)

Saumur 2011, Les Arboises, Domaine Guiberteau ($52.00, 12114857)
Les Arboises is a 1.65-hectare lieu-dit with chalky-clayey soil in Brézé. The vines were planted in 1957. Matured in a mix of new and first- and second-fill barrels. In most years, about 4,000 bottles are made. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Les vins Alain Bélanger.
Beautiful, complex bouquet with all of the above and more, including spice chest and faint toast. Structured and taut, with a velvety texture. The ripe fruit is in perfect balance with the fine, lightly astringent tannins and sleek acidity. A floral note (violet?) chimes in on the long finish. So pure, so fresh, so profound. A gorgeous wine with a decade or two of life ahead of it. If a Pauillac mated with a Vosne-Romanée, their offspring might be something like this. (Buy again? A case if I could afford one.)

(Flight: 3/6)

Written by carswell

October 20, 2014 at 17:02

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. […] unfurling and depth to come. Long ashy finish. At this point, quite a different animal(e) from the 2013. Another six to 12 months in the bottle should help sort things out. (Buy again? A qualified yes: […]

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