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We've been enjoying the superb Bourgueils of Stéphane Guion for 12 years now, since discovering his wines, with a little help from Marc Olivier of Domaine de la Pépière, at the "Levée de la Loire" in Angers. Domaine Guion was created by Stéphane's father in the 1950's and was certified organic beginning in 1965, and Stéphane is proud to announce that 2021 is his first year of conversion for Demeter Biodynamic certification. The estate's 8 hectares are all in Benais mostly on Turonien limestone with varied depths of clay topsoil. The parcels are just west of Domaine de la Chevalerie and Domaine Breton, in the northern sector of Benais, on slopes facing south and southwest, which is prime real estate for ageworthy, mineral-laden Bourgueils! Only 15% of the vines are on gravel topsoil (in "La Ruée") used primarily for the rosé and a small amount for the Cuvée Domaine.
The 2019 Cuvée Domaine has just arrived - it's equal to the brilliant 2018 and of course it's a sensational value! While the "entry level" wine from most producers in Chinon and Bourgueil come from sand and gravel soils close to the Loire or Vienne rivers, Stéphan's "Domaine" is primarily from clay/limestone soils, giving the young vines (15 to 40 years-old) a bit more structure and complexity. The 2019 is beautifully deeep and sapid while retaining the freshness and mineral flavors always present in the Guion wines. Serve cool with just about anything over the next five years...$14.99!
We've also received more of the wonderful 2018 Cuvée Prestige, from vines averaging 45 years of age in the parcels "Grand Mont," "les Marquises," le Vlaudons," "le Maupas," "les Caveries," "Petit Mont" and "Chavannes." It's always one of our favorite Loire Cabernet Francs, and the vintages 2009, 2010 and 2014 were particularly outstanding. 2018, however, may be the best he has made - even Stéphane, who is extremely modest, is a little bit excited with it! His assessment: "The wine benefited from a damp climate in the spring and early summer, then sunshine through the summer and fall without excessive heat or hydric stress. We have then a wine from beautifully mature grapes giving superb aromas of very ripe black fruit confit with a savory mineral character on the palate, accompanied and enveloped by firm, ripe tannins with wonderful length, giving a very balanced wine and promising long cellaring. For me a magnificent vintage that I will want to revisit frequently!" $16.99!
Beginning in 2009, Stephane began making the "Cuvée Deux Monts" from 70-year-old vines in "Petits Monts" and "Grand Monts" towards the top of the slope above Benais, facing roughly south-west, clay over Turonien limestone (tuffeau, craie micacée). This is the terroir giving the most elegant and age-worthy Bourgueils. 18-month élevage; 40% in cuve inox, 20% in one new 400 liter barrel, 20% in one-year and 20% in two-year old barrels, assembled two months before bottling. The 2014 and 2019 are wines for the cellar, don't hesitate to put some away...
While we love the vibrant fruit, firm acidity and mineral flavors found in Stéphane's Rosé, some of our clients find the wine to be a bit....too vibrant when it's first released. Thus we're happy to offer the lovely 2019 and 2018 Bourgueil Rosés, which are drinking beautifully after a year or two in bottle. The refreshing acidity is still there, but the wines have softened and rounded out showing the lush, very pretty raspberry and red currant fruit at it's best. Enjoy these wines year-round with chicken and pork dishes, quiches and grilled tuna...
Some wine is in stock (including 60 btls of the "Domaine") more inventory arrives Tuesday, August 24.
(Wine arrives 8/25) 2018 brings us another great Cuvée Prestige from Stéphane Guion in Bourgueil, whose domaine has been certified organic since the 1960s. From vines averaging 45 years old on thin topsoils of sandy clay over limestone (tuffau jaune) in Benais, a terroir that produces some of the most elegant and age-worthy Bourgueils. 2018 is a great vintage for Loire reds, despite the very warm and humid spring that brought attacks of mildew. The summer was perfect, warm and dry, without spikes of heat, and the soils retained enough moisture to bring freshness to the very ripe grapes. Tasted with Stéphane in February 2020, the 2018 Prestige showed elegant intensely perfumed aromas of red and black fruit liqueurs. The palate was complex and earthy, very calcaire, dense but not heavy with beautifully supple ripe red and black fruits, with a long finish of saline and mineral flavors quite present below the sappy fruit. We look forward to a more thorough tasting after the wine rests from its voyage, but it's quite clear that this will be delicious to drink as a young wine, and - although it may seem crazy to cellar a $17 wine for 20 to 30 years - those that do will be rewarded with a unique expression of this great terroir. I'm hoping to live to be 100 to have that experience myself! David Lillie
From 70-year-old vines in "Petits Monts" and "Grand Monts" towards the top of the slope above Benais, facing roughly south-west, clay over Turonien limestone (tuffeau, craie micacée). This is the terroir giving the most elegant and age-worthy Bourgueils and 2014 is a particularly good vintage for Loire reds to age. 18-month élevage ; 40% in cuve inox, 20% in one new 400 liter barrel, 20% in one-year and 20% in two-year old barrels, assembled two months before bottling. Tasted in February 2016, the wine was fairly closed and tight, with deep, pure black fruits and perfect balance. This will be a sensational mature wine, best to wait eight to ten years, or more, then drink until 2040.
(Wine arrives 8/25) This is another beautiful wine from the shy and affable Stéphane Guion who is quietly making some of the best wines in Bourgueil. His 2019 Cuvèe Domaine is from not-so-young (15 to 40 year-old) vines, mostly on clay/limestone terroir in Benais and is equal to the superb 2018 with peraps a bit more brightness to the fruit. The wine shows a vibrant black/red color and lush aromas of raspberry and blackberry confit, dark chocolate and violets - very deep and ripe but still bright with earthy hints as well. The palate is medium-bodied and very fresh with firm acidity and chalky, saline mineral flavors framing the very ripe, chalky red and black fruits, which continue in the long sappy finish. Drink now, served cool, with grilled chicken and pork, charcuterie, green vegetables and mild cheeses, or hold 5 to 8 years for a velvety mature experience. This is a beautiful wine and a sensational value! David Lillie
From 70-year-old vines in "Petits Monts" and "Grand Monts" towards the top of the slope above Benais, facing roughly south-west, clay over Turonien limestone (tuffeau, craie micacée). This is the terroir giving the most elegant and age-worthy Bourgueils. 18-month élevage ; 40% in cuve inox, 20% in one new 400 liter barrel, 20% in one-year and 20% in two-year old barrels, assembled two months before bottling. Our first taste of the 2017 "Deux Monts" revealed it to be a superb wine, quite deep and ripe but still light on its feet and with a particularly long and focused finish. Says Stéphane "the weather in 2017 was quite warm in spring and summer with a bit of rain in september - the wine is quite floral with ripe red fruits and mineral flavors on the palate with round, supple tannins and the limestone terroir quite present in the finish." It's a beautiful wine showing the old vines and great terroir...
Wine arrives 8/25 (Tasted in August 2021, this beautiful wine has softened considerably and is showing lovely berry fruits - peak drinking summer of 2021 and beyond.) The 2018 Bourgueils of Stéphane Guion, tasted in early February 2019, are just extraordinary, with an extra layer of vibrant fruit, beginning with this gorgeous rosé. 50 years of organic farming and great traditional winemaking give this refreshing wine its perfect balance with beautiful fruit and great earthy expression of the gravel and limestone/clay terroir. The wine shows lush strawberry/raspberry aromas with citrus, rose and earth. Raspberry, blood orange, melon and earthy flavors on the ripe but dry palate which is framed in firm acidity and saline minerals. This is a real rosé of terroir, and for lovers of Cabernet Franc it's one of the greatest values around - drinking beautifully now and through 2020, with burgers, roast chicken, grilled pork and charcuterie. David Lillie
(Wine arrives 8/25) Of course we love the great Cabernet Franc rosés from the Loire and a special favorite of ours is the vibrant Bourgueil from Stéphane Guion in Benais. Organic since 1964, the estate produces superb wines on the limestone/clay soils, and this year's rosé is perhaps his best ever! The color is a lovely pale pink and the raspberry and red currant fruit is supple, complex and refreshing, remaining light but with lovely complex fruit, herbal notes and a particularly long and focused finish with firm acidity. It's an amazing value at $13.99, and will drink beautifully over the next three years, case purchases are recommended!