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.
|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|
Charles Joguet, a young painter and sculptor, abandoned a budding art career to assume direction of the family domaine in 1957. He began to question the common practice of selling grapes to negociants, as his family had done for years. The Joguets owned prime vineyard land between the Loire and Vienne Rivers with distinct variations in the soils. To sell the grapes off or vinify the individualized plots together would have been madness. Separate terroirs, Charles believed, necessitate separate vinifications. He took the risks necessary to master single-vineyard bottling with an artistry that Chinon had never before seen. Charles has since retired. Today, the eager and talented Kevin Fontaine oversees the vineyards and the cellars.
You don’t have to be rich to cellar a great wine.