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2014 Chinon “Les Petites Roches”

Charles Joguet

2014 Chinon “Les Petites Roches” Charles Joguet - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
When Charles Joguet took over the family vineyards in 1957, he set out to do something that was unheard of in the Loire Valley. Rather than blending all the fruit from his varied parcels, he opted for a more Burgundian approach and began vinifying each individually, highlighting Chinon’s diversity of soils and exposures and playing with the nuances of vine age to propose a gamut of different wines of unique character. It is in this spirit that the domaine’s current vigneron, Kevin Fontaine, crafts the cuvée Les Petites Roches, named for the estate’s gravelly terroirs. Given light treatment in the cellar, this wine expresses bright, delicate fruit with gentle, velvety tannins. With notes of flowers, red berries, and damp earth, this is a classic representation of Cabernet Franc from Chinon that can be enjoyed over the next five or so years with roast chicken, pork chops, or game.

Anthony Lynch

Vintage: 2014
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Chinon
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: Charles Joguet
Vineyard: Planted in 1930 to 1940, 2.22 ha
Soil: White Limestone, Clay
Aging: Prolonged aging in 1-3 year-old barrels for 12-15 months
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 13%

More from this Producer or Region

About Loire

The defining feature of the Loire Valley, not surprisingly, is the Loire River. As the longest river in France, spanning more than 600 miles, this river connects seemingly disparate wine regions. Why else would Sancerre, with its Kimmeridgian limestone terroir be connected to Muscadet, an appellation that is 250 miles away?

Secondary in relevance to the historical, climatic, environmental, and cultural importance of the river are the wines and châteaux of the Jardin de la France. The kings and nobility of France built many hundreds of châteaux in the Loire but wine preceded the arrival of the noblesse and has since out-lived them as well.

Diversity abounds in the Loire. The aforementioned Kimmderidgian limestone of Sancerre is also found in Chablis. Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur boast the presence of tuffeau, a type of limestone unique to the Loire that has a yellowish tinge and a chalky texture. Savennières has schist, while Muscadet has volcanic, granite, and serpentinite based soils. In addition to geologic diversity, many, grape varieties are grown there too: Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne are most prevalent, but (to name a few) Pinot Gris, Grolleau, Pinot Noir, Pineau d’Aunis, and Folle Blanche are also planted. These myriad of viticultural influences leads to the high quality production of every type of wine: red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert.

Like the Rhône and Provence, some of Kermit’s first imports came from the Loire, most notably the wines of Charles Joguet and Château d’Epiré—two producers who are featured in Kermit’s book Adventures on the Wine Route and with whom we still work today.

More from Loire or France

2011 Muscadet Réserve

Domaine Michel Brégeon  France  |  Loire  |  Musacadet

$35.00

2015 Bourgueil “Franc de Pied”

Catherine and Pierre Breton  France  |  Loire  |  Bourgueil

$35.00

2016 Saumur-Champigny “Terres Chaudes”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur-Champigny

$40.00

2015 Savennières Moelleux

Château d'Epiré  France  |  Loire  |  Savennières

$29.00

2017 Cheverny

Domaine du Salvard  France  |  Loire  |  Cheverny

$18.00

2015 Vouvray “La Moelleuse”

Champalou  France  |  Loire  |  Vouvray

$45.00

2016 Quincy “Vieilles Vignes”

Domaine Trotereau  France  |  Loire  |  Quincy

$25.00

2015 Vouvray “Le Portail” MAGNUM

Champalou  France  |  Loire  |  Vouvray

$85.00

2012 Saumur-Champigny “La Marginale”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur-Champigny

$55.00

2015 Chinon “Les Varennes du Grand Clos”

Charles Joguet  France  |  Loire  |  Chinon

$42.00

2014 Chinon “Le Clos Guillot”

Bernard Baudry  France  |  Loire  |  Chinon

$38.00

2013 Saumur Blanc “L’Échelier”

Domaine des Roches Neuves  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur

$80.00

Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.

Inspiring Thirst, page 312

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