Wine of the Week: Domaine Guiberteau new releases
The Loire Valley is renowned for its outstanding Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, and Domaine Guiberteau is absolutely one of the shining jewels of the region. In 1996 Romain Guiberteau left his previous career to take over management of his family’s Domaine (originally founded by his great grandfather). With guidance from Clos Rougeard’s Nady Foucault, he set about making a small quantity of red wine – unsurprisingly, it was a great success, and he subsequently chose to take his grapes back from the cooperatives, work towards organic certification and focus on estate-made wines. More than 20 years later, and now with 9.4 hectares under vine (including 7 on the iconic hill of Brézé), the wines from Domaine Guiberteau are textural, elegant, fresh, focused, and so so enjoyable.
(If you’d like to learn more about the prolific hill of Brézé, we strongly recommend that you take a read over at Ted Vance’s ‘Mindful(l) of Wine’)
2017 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc, $65
100% Chenin Blanc coming from a range of sites with vines planted from 1935 to 2012 – from the younger vines in the Clos de Gichaux and the Clos des Carmes, and old vines from a parcel in the Bas de Pentes terroir of Brézé. Whole-bunch pressed and fermented using indigenous yeasts, before maturation predominantly in tank (with one parcel spending some time in a large oak cask). Incredibly precise, white fruit and pithy citrus aromatics, great texture, subtle minerality, and vibrant acidity.
2017 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Rouge, $66
100% Cabernet Franc, with three quarters of the grapes coming from the chalky soils of Les Arboises (on the limestone rich Brézé hill) with the rest of the fruit coming from the Les Motelles vineyard (chalky sand and gravel over clay). Entirely de-stemmed and fermented with indigenous yeasts, before ageing in concrete and large tronconique barrels. Fleshy dark cherry, blackcurrant, bright minerality, loads of spice and a herbal tang.
2016 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc ‘Clos de Guichaux’, $112
100% Chenin Blanc from the historic vineyard of Clos de Gichaux in Bizay (close to Brézé), replanted in the early 2000s with Selection Massale cuttings taken from the family’s best old vines in Brézé. Sees 12 months in 2-4 year old barrels (500L light toast Atelier Centre France and François Frères) then six months in tank. Supple and elegant with citrus aromatics, nice reductive character, white pepper, minerality, and a beautiful acidity.
2015 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc Brézé, $150
100% Chenin Blanc from two small parcels of mature vines (planted in 1933 & 1952 respectively) within the Brézé climat. This terroir brings something unique, and something quite different to a typical Saumur white. The vineyards sit at high elevations with vines on porous chalky limestone intermixed with clay and sand – the majority of the vineyard also has less than a metre of topsoil, allowing the vines to drill straight into the chalky bedrock, creating a complexly mineral expression of Chenin. This cuvée is a great reminder of why Brézé once held a reputation up there with the best vineyards of Burgundy & Bordeaux. This wine is overwhelmingly complex while maintaining an outstanding balance, with floral and citrus aromatics, mineral notes, fleshy fruit, smoky reductive notes, and vinous intensity.
2016 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Rouge Les Motelles, $112
100% Cabernet Franc from the 1.4-hectare ‘Les Motelles’ vineyard in the south of Saumur, next to the village of Montreuil-Bellay. Planted by Guiberteau’s grandfather in 1955, the soils here are clay-rich with gravel (a departure from the largely limestone-based soils of their other vineyards). The fruit was fully de-stemmed and fermented in concrete using indigenous yeasts, prior to 14 months maturation in a mix of 3-5 year old barrels. Typically quite a powerful cuvée due to the natural intensity of the site, in recent years Guiberteau has taken to allowing higher fruit yield on the vineyard, as well as working the wine with more gentle punch downs – bringing more freshness and suppleness to the wines. Beautifully fresh with cherry and spice, powder-fine tannins, and a delicate charcuterie edge.
Loire Valley, prices as marked
Limited stock, please contact your neighbourhood store or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for availability.
Price is valid for two weeks unless sold out prior