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2022 Bourgueil Rosé “La Ritournelle”

Catherine & Pierre Breton
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Pierre Breton has deep roots in Bourgueil, so when he met Catherine—whose family hails from Vernou-sur-Brenne, in the heart of the Vouvray AOC—the stage was set for a superstar marriage between these two great Loire crus. Since founding Domaine Breton in the mid-1980s, they have carried the flag for their respective home appellations with passion, ambition, and playful zest—traits you can identify in every one of their wines. They have farmed organically and biodynamically since 1990, eschewing herbicides to promote a rich microbial life among the vines, aerating the soils and prompting the roots to dig deep down into cracks in the bedrock for sustenance. Today, Catherine and Pierre are joined by their daughter, France, and son, Paul.
     Their Ritournelle rosé is purely and simply a thirst-quencher: direct-press Cabernet Franc with a brisk red-fruited twang, some herbaceous zest, and an absolutely mouthwatering zingy finish. Meant to be served from an ice bucket, with a couple pals and maybe a round of goat cheese or some crisp greens.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: Rosé
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Bourgueil
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: Catherine & Pierre Breton
Vineyard: 2 ha, vines 30 years old
Soil: Gravel
Farming: Biodynamic (certified)
Alcohol: 12.5%

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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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Vintage Chart

Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch

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