When I sit down to write about the wines from our most celebrated producers, I sometimes think about M.F.K. Fisher, who said, “The saving grace of all wine’s many graces, probably, is that it can never be dull. It is only the people who try to sing about it who may sound flat.” Yikes! The challenge, then, in speaking about Catherine and Pierre Breton—whose wines are more than just wines but rather emblems of the French art de vivre—is to avoid sounding like a broken record while singing their praises. I’ll do my best.
Some call this playful Champagne-method sparkler a “porch-pounder,” but since you may be socializing in other outdoor spaces this summer, I would add “rooftop-rouser” or “garden-guzzler.” Catherine’s Dilettante line of Vouvrays, clearly coaxed to life by the hand of a hedonist, expresses the most joyful side of Chenin Blanc. Try whetting your appetite with this festive bottling before a party, or pop it open as the last bottle of the night, just before the sun comes up.
“Trinch!,” a punchy, bistro-style Bourgueil that’s both structured and glouglou, may be the most quintessential Breton cuvée of the lot. Young-vine Cabernet Franc, full of energetic vigor, is gently de-stemmed and cold-macerated in stainless steel to ensure maximal fruit expression. When served chilled, this bottling smells like a gravel road after a summer rain, firm and fresh, and leaves me craving a cold slab of terrine or gamey pâté.
The Bretons may act carefree, but their immense pride in the Loire and the AOCs of the Touraine region mean they are committed to making serious wines, too. The historical Clos Sénéchal, a top terroir bottling from the estate, marries sapid old-vine fruit with healthy soils of clay, limestone, and tuffeau. The resulting wine is a spicy, plummy treat that tastes three-dimensional and ages like a fine Pinot.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
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