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2020 Vouvray “Pierres Rousses”

Catherine & Pierre Breton
Discount Eligible $38.00
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Based in Restigné, in the heart of the Bourgueil AOC, Catherine and Pierre Breton always dabbled in Vouvray, since Catherine's family is based within the Chenin Blanc appellation about an hour’s drive upriver. Now the next generation of Bretons has come of age, and while daughter France holds down the fort in Cabernet Franc country, her brother Paul has chosen to focus entirely on white wines. He even set up his own little cellar in Vouvray, and has taken on new vineyards to increase the family's production of blanc.
     Pierres Rousses is a new bottling he launched from a parcel of old vines on flinty soil. He ages it in used barrels, giving it a much different character than the “Dilettante” Vouvray bottling the family has long produced. Paul’s wine is deep and textural, with serious presence on the palate and a dry, flinty finish—decidedly old-school Vouvray from a budding young talent!

Anthony Lynch


Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Chenin Blanc
Appellation: Vouvray
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: Catherine & Pierre Breton
Winemaker: Catherine & Pierre Breton
Vineyard: 55 years old
Soil: Clay, Flint
Farming: Biodynamic (certified)
Alcohol: 14%

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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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Kermit inspecting wine barrels

For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.