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Chambers Street congratulates Pierre and Catherine Breton on the 30th Anniversary of their estate - 30 years of producing some of the most elegant and delicious wines in the Loire Valley, with great farming, brilliant winemaking and a convivial attitude that has made them friends around the world. Their early conversion to organic farming and biodynamic methods helped inspire vignerons all over France and beyond to join the movement to a more sane agriculture and natural methods of winemaking. 1985 was their first vintage, with their organic and biodynamic certifications beginning in 1990. In 1992, they produced their first cuvée "sans-soufre," the vibrant Bourgueil "Nuits d"Ivresse." In 1999 the Bretons organized one of the first group tastings to celebrate the natural wine movement, "La Dive Bouteille," held in a cellar in Bourgueil with 40 winemakers from around France, which has grown into an important international event. But of course it's the superb quality of their wines that has earned the respect of consumers and wine professionals around the world - both for their elegant and ageworthy cuvées such as the Bourgueil "les Perrières" and the Chinon "Saint-Louans" but also for the pure delight of their "vins de soif" which unpretentiously encourage the enjoyment of the social beverage that is wine. We salute Pierre and Catherine on the Domaine's anniversary and offer a few of our favorite wines from the past few years... (Taste with Pierre and Paul Breton at The Big Glou this Saturday, February 27) (Wines arrive Wednesday 2/24)
This delicious Bourgueil is from young vines on clay and gravel soils over limestone, harvested by hand into small baskets and vinified to extract the primary aromas. Trinch is particularly yummy in 2014 as the sunny weather at the end of the season brought ripeness and lush fruit but without excess weight or tannin. The color is dense red/black with deep aromas of blackberry, violet and bitter chocolate with a hint of roast meat. Intense black fruits on the palate with earthy, saline minerals, musk and citrus - nicely balanced at 12.5% alcohol and with bright acidity. This is a great thirst-quenching Bourgueil to serve cool with charcuterie, roast chicken, pork and full-flavored cheeses.
From old vines on the upper slopes of Bourgueil, where the clay over Turonien chalk gives magnificent long-lasting wines. Vinified with zero sulfur-dioxide, the 2010 Nuits D'Ivresse has deep aromas of strawberry confit, earth and spice. The palate is round but balanced and fresh. Buy a case and drink half now, wait 5 to 8 years for the rest. "It's a search for purity of fruit according to the principals of Jules Chauvet, a wine of "Pure Origine" without additives."This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.
One of our favorite Loire Valley reds is the Pierre and Catherine Breton Bourgueil Les Perrieres, and we have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2010. As opposed to the heavier and more forward 2009, the 2010 is lighter and medium-bodied, perfectly balanced with earthy, bright acidity and obviously built to last — a "grand vin!" From 70+ year-old vines in mid-slope on soil of clay and silica over limestone. Deep black/red color; elegant aromas of black fruits, earth and mint, subtle and beautiful. Intense fruit on the palate but not at all heavy — blackberry, red currant, black pepper, bitter chocolate and mint with a hint of oak, framed in cool acidity with a tannic structure that will carry this wine for twenty years or more. Powerful and complex yet balanced and elegant at 12.5% alcohol. This beautiful wine comes from the Bretons long experience with this parcel, their 30 years of organic and biodynamic farming and a masterful vinification and élevage, with minimal SO2, which allows great terroir expression and ageability. I will be putting this wine in my cellar, along with my 2010 Baudry Croix Boissee, and, if I can afford it, a 2010 Clos Rougeard, for a nice tasting in 2034! (Some details: Hand harvested into small boxes; 7 day cool maceration, wild yeast fermentation in oak vat without addition of SO2, progressively warmer over 15 days; no chaptalization, minimal extraction — one pumping over, no cap punching; aged in 10% new, 90% one-year-old barrels for two years with one racking; bottled after 2 1/2 years on a "flowering" day.) DL
The Breton's Bourgueil Clos Sénéchal is always one of my favorite Loire reds. From a great terroir in mid-slope on clay over limestone "tuffeau." The vines are 30 to 45 years old, there is a three-week alcoholic fermentation with wild yeasts, no added SO2. Aging is in old foudres with minimal SO2 added before bottling. The wine is relatively light with subtle aromas and strong chalky acids - remarkably pretty when young, it ages beautifully for ten to twenty years depending on the vintage. The tiny yields in 2012 brought a bit more concentration and color but the wine retains it's light character with superb, complex aromas of ripe blackberry, red-currant, violets, earth, plum-skin and spice. The palate is light but intense with black fruits, very firm citrusy acids and a long finish of ripe berries and saline minerals. Beautiful now, best perhaps between 2019 and 2025-2030. David Lillie.
From 30 to 45 year-old vines on beautiful clay/limestone terroir in Saint-Louans, on slopes above the Vienne. The 2011 Saint-Louans received 30 months of aging in used barrels. This is an elegant wine, very marked by the limestone and rounded nicely by the extended aging. The aromas are complex and lovely with slightly spicy red fruit and earth tones. The palate is balanced with delicacy and power, indicating long aging potential. Carafe if drinking now, best perhaps 2025 - ?
One of our favorite Loire reds, the Breton Nuits D'Ivresse is a selection of old vines on a terroir of clay and limestone. The wine is vinified, aged and bottled without the addition of sulfur, preserving it's lovely fruit aromas. The 2012 has complex somewhat "sauvage" red fruit and earthy notes and a medium-bodied palate. 2012 is a lovely vintage for Loire reds with vibrant fruit and bright acidity making them great food wines — carafe, serve cool and enjoy with charcuterie, pork, roast chicken and mild cheeses...
Catherine Breton's family have been winemakers in Vouvray for generations. The 2014 Dilettante is a lovely dry Vouvray with subtle aromas of white fruits, citrus and honeysuckle. The palate is fresh with round fruit and chalky acids. This is a very pretty and refreshing Vouvray that will accompany any seafood and lighter poultry dishes and is a lovely apéritif as well.