The “Galichets” in question are gravelly soils home to fifty-year-old Cabernet Franc vines, which the Bretons farm biodynamically and coax into producing this delightful little red—using only the most natural methods, of course. The Revue du Vin de France aptly described it as having “depth, pleasure, and terroir,” and I’ll add that the pleasure really takes the upper hand in this cuvée. Not only does it demonstrate the merits of a nondogmatic approach to noninterventionist viticulture and vinification in a dynamic environment amid ever-changing
market demands due to shifting trends in mainstream consumer culture, but also it is a damn tasty drink.
|Producer:||Catherine & Pierre Breton|
|Winemaker:||Catherine & Pierre Breton|
|Vineyard:||50 years, 3 ha|
|Aging:||Wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered after one year in stainless steel|
Catherine and Pierre Breton are real life bon vivants vignerons of lore. They are passionate about what they do, enjoy sharing it with others, and entertain with a generosity and charm. That they make great wine with such integrity makes our appreciation of them complete. The Bretons farm 11 hectares just east of Bourgueil in the village of Restigné. They produce Chinon, Bourgueil, and a bit of Vouvray, creating honest wines for both early consumption and aging. The Bretons received organic certification in 1991 and recently began the three-year process of seeking biodynamic certification. They’ve become international icons for the natural wine movement in an area where the climate and soil can make organic viticulture difficult.
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Inspiring Thirst, page 171