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2019 Bourgueil “Clos Sénéchal”

Catherine & Pierre Breton

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Our most light-hearted Cabernet Francs come from the Bretons; juicy quaffers from sun-warmed gravel that make for joyful sipping. By contrast, Clos Sénéchal is studious and sturdy, emerging from the Loire’s famed tuffeau. This renowned limestone terroir lends structure and a touch of youth that will serve well for elegant aging. Enjoy it now for dense and inky fruit—purple plums and dried cherries marked with a touch of smoky tobacco. 

Allyson Noman

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2019
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Bourgueil
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: Catherine & Pierre Breton
Winemaker: Catherine & Pierre Breton
Vineyard: 40 years, 1.3 ha
Soil: Gravel, Clay, Limestone
Aging: The wine is macerated in open wood vats and fermented and aged in wooden foudres. It is bottled without fining or filtration after 18 months of aging.
Farming: Biodynamic (certified)
Alcohol: 13%

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About The Region

Loire

map of 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.

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Inspiring Thirst

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

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