Browse Tag


Hawaiian Taluau

Taluau 2006 Bourgueil “Cuvée du Domaine” (Loire) – Juicy. Black-fruity. Some grit and paste-powder texture. But big and a little swaggering, even polished…I might place this in the exurbs of Bordeaux before I got anywhere near the Loire, and while the wine’s quite appealing as a beverage, I can’t say that the preceding is 100% complimentary. (12/10)

Francly, my dear…

C&P Breton 2006 Bourgueil “Franc de Pied” (Loire) – Cellar-culling, and here I found a bottle unwisely stashed amongst the ageable Loire reds. No, not with this closure. It is still just barely appealing, with highly aromatic herbal/soil notes dominant, but the fruit is well on its way to complete desiccation and the tannin is harsh and sandpapery. Don’t make my mistake (though if this advice is still useful, I guess you already have). (11/10)

Jean Vaumoreau

Druet 1996 Bourgueil Vaumoreau (Loire) – Clinging by the tiniest nanometer of a fingernail to life. At least, that’s the story for the first few hours or so, in which the wine’s complete unsuitability for acidphobes is fully asserted. Sitting in the bottle, minus a few pours, it develops and grows for a long while, finally emerging with a cohesive but still extremely gentle blend of earth and herb in slow braise, westering into a long night. (9/10)

To Grand Mont’s house we go

Druet 1997 Bourgueil “Cuvée Grand Mont” (Loire) – The fruit that was once fulsome (for a Bourgueil) has mostly passed into history, but lovers of the gentle and faded will still appreciate what remains. Fairly acidic in terms of its overall balance, but that’s more a result of general decay than it is a comment on the wine’s inherent acidity. There’s greenness, yes, but also a memory of black fruit, a range of dusts that may include the occasional white peppercorn, and a slow glide into passage. There’s no reason to hold this any longer, unless your tastes run necrotic…and I realize that some will indeed hold the wine in search of that very quality. (9/10)

My Galichets Friday

C&P Breton 2004 Bourgueil Les Galichets (Loire) – Green fruit…ripe but edged with herbs, stems, seeds, and skins…and dark, almost gritty soil. There are already mature notes floating about, and given the closure I wouldn’t hold the wine any longer anyway. (6/10)

C&P Breton 2004 Bourgueil Les Galichets (Loire) – Virtually identical to the previous bottle, with a bit more dark soil and intensity, plus more surviving structure. Despite this, the wine actually shows more maturity (in the form of tertiary spice/soil notes) than the previous. In any case, the advice to drink up holds. (6/10)

50 Cent

Druet 1996 Bourgueil Les Cent Boisselées (Loire) – Peppers (mostly bell, but also seed), green grass, and dirt slowly eroding into a wind that carries the black pepper into oblivion. Strappy, apple skin-textured tannin has been stretched at the seams of this wine, which is holding but about to fall apart, I think. Still, there’s a certain dignity to the wine, and only those who require some sort of identifiable primary fruit to enjoy a wine will fail to see the interest here. (12/09)

Galichets stadium

C&P Breton 2004 Bourgueil Les Galichets (Loire) – With age, the fruit here has moved somewhere into the magenta/mahogany range…not in color, but in character…though the aerated layers of grey minerality have not diminished. The structure is very slightly resolved, and while there’s no emergency need to drink this, short-term is the guiding principle. (8/09)

The Trinch who stole Christmas

C&P Breton 2005 Bourgeuil “Trinch!” (Loire) – Hardening and fading into green-edged structural meanness. Likely a victim of its closure. And yes, I know I wasn’t supposed to hold it this long in the first place…this was a “found bottle.” (9/09)

Feet named Frank

C&P Breton 2006 Bourgueil “Franc de Pied” (Loire) – Here’s a stray cabernet franc, a little unkempt and matted from its post-abandonment wanderings, arrived on your doorstep and gazing up at you with wary-yet-hopeful puppy-dog eyes. It’s a wine that wears its wary heart on its sleeve, one that throbs with nervous tension, and the result is a sort of vinous quivering. Yet it doesn’t really like to be held too long, either, and shies away when grasped too tightly or for too long. (5/09)