Charles Joguet once mused that he had gotten a lot of experience drinking good wine while studying art in Paris, but that that was far from teaching him how to make good wine. On the long road of trial and error, he discovered a respect for patience over manipulation. “Finesse is the opposite of action,” he said in La Revue du Vin de France. “You have a terroir, a microclimate, and you do what you can with it.” Clos de la Dioterie is the essence of finesse: a harmony of ripe fruit aromas followed by silky spice on the palate; the freshness of a just-ripe blackberry and a trace of vanilla to soften the acidity. A wine that is easy to call pretty, in the most charming sense of the word.
Pioneers of natural winemaking in the Loire Valley, Catherine and Pierre Breton do not adhere to dogma. Rather, they seek to make the best wines possible from their terroir, using sustainable farming and noninterventionist winemaking as a means to that end. In other words, they strive to make great wine first, and great natural wine second. Here we have the only Breton cuvée bottled without a drop of added sulfur, but that should neither attract you nor scare you away. Still, if you want to drink a truly compelling Cabernet Franc—broad and well structured, reminiscent of smoky black fruit, spice, and wild bramble—then this is the wine for you.
The youngest of these three wines is the one that deserves to age the longest. While this cuvée pays tribute to the mémoires of the 110-year-old vines from which it was born, you can honor your bottle by “forgetting” it for some time. Better yet, invest in a couple bottles and open them periodically. A wine of this caliber—complex and packed with potential—is duly shy in its youth. The discreet balance, the soft hint of rose petal, the tang of bright fruit: all foreshadow a very interesting future.
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
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa