Wine Review – 2007 Charles Joguet “Cuvee Terroir” Chinon, Loire Valley, France

Winery: Charles JoguetJoguetChinon

Bottling: 2007 Cuvee Terroir

Importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants

Region: France

Sub-Region: Loire Valley, Chinon

Estimated Retail Price: $18

Purchase Details: Purchased from Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants in Berkeley, California for approximately $17.

Tasting Notes: In the glass, such a beautiful pure color of red and blue hues.  On the nose, wonderful perfumed and sweet aromas of berries, lavendar and spice.  In the mouth, you immediately sense how lively and refreshing the acidity of the wine is, as the fruit flavors seem to come alive.  I taste red and blue fruits like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and cherries.  The wine is medium-bodied and has just enough tannins to keep the stuffing in place, and they’re also soft enough so one can enjoy this bottling early in its life.

Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: Can be clearly enjoyed on its own or with anything. Seriously, the wine is that flexible.  Food and wine pairing rules can be thrown out the window here.  Just enjoy this with whatever you enjoy eating.

Winery & Other Background Information: Hands down, the best pure cabernet franc being made in the world today is coming from the hard working men at Charles Joguet in Chinon.  If you’ve never had the opportunity to try any of the wines produced by the domain, you are truly missing out on one of life’s sheer pleasures.  The only red wine they make comes from the cabernet franc grape, which expresses itself better in Chinon than in any other region in the world (I know fans of Cheval Blanc may politely disagree).

Charles Joguet understood the magic qualities of the soils in Chinon and thus became an early proponent of bottling each vineyard separately, so each vineyard could showcase their intrinsic and unique qualities.  Borrowing this philosophy from the Burgundians, Charles applied this age old idea in the Loire at a time when everyone was still blending their wines; he was a true visionary.

Although the vineyard lands of Joguet date back to the 1800s, the actual domaine was founded by Charles in 1957 only after his father had died. In  the 1980s, sensing that he wanted to preserve his legacy, Joguet started forming a team that would share and eventually carry on his vineyard management and winemaking philosophy.  In 1997, Charles retired and handed the reigns over to the team he assembled.

The Cuvee Terroir and Les Petite Roche lables are bottlings that are made for early consumption and at less than $20, represent extreme values.  Their single vineyard bottlings can be cellared for years and age gloriously.  Considering their price tags  and ageability, they are also extreme cellar values, so do yourself and your cellar a favor and track these wines down.

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