"This is a departure for the real or supposed spirit of Saumur, with a quality of fruit that puts them alongside the greatest wine in France, be they from Burgundy, the Languedoc or Bordeaux." Bettane & Desseauve's Guide to The Wines Of France
“There is no perfect domaine... but when Romain gets it right he can, in fact, hit the bull's-eye.” Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com
“Romain Guiberteau owns some of the best land in Brézé, and makes dry chenins of punk rock violence, yet of Bach-like logic and profoundness.” Becky Wasserman, French based US importer
Romain Guiberteau is a cult wine producer from the Loire Valley in France, from the small village of Saumur, producing electric Chenin Blanc and alluring Cabernet Franc. Guiberteau is what we love about wine, small production over mass, classic techniques over modern, organic farming over conventional and heart over mind… though he is a pretty sharp vigneron. We think there are always a few producers in each region that are head and shoulders above the rest, Romain Guiberteau is one of these for Loire.
Firstly, Saumur is a village in the west of France, equal distance (three and a half hours by car) between Paris and Bordeaux. It is on the Loire River, about 200kms from the Atlantic Ocean. Its history is rich, with vines grown on its famous hill of Breze since the Middle Ages. However, it is recent decades, and even years, that its international recognition is flourished, due to iconic producer Clos Rougeard (recently sold), and some of their owners’ offspring and disciples. Romain Guiberteau is one of those, and he farms and makes Chenin Blanc whites and Cabernet Franc reds.
Guibertau has been a family winery for over a century, founded by Romain’s great grandfather in the early 20th century, Quality was good and Romain’s grandfather (Clement’s son in law), increased vineyard holdings by purchasing more land on the famous hill of Breze. Though following this, the Guiberteau family leased their vineyards and production skipped a generation, until Romain came along and from 1996, took over the family vineyards, and mentored by the great Nady Foucault of Clos Rougeard fame, started producing wines under Guiberteau. Quality has continued to grow and now Guiberteau is considered one of the shining lights of the appellation.
The Chenin Blanc’s brought Romain’s first run of fame. They are intensely pure, powerful, salty, mineral laced, and acid driven wines. If you haven’t drunk much Loire Valley Chenin, it is hard to compare a style (please forget all Australian examples from the 90’s). Perhaps Chablis, Riesling and awesome White Burgundy all wrapped in to one? These must be experienced to be understood, and we recommend stuffing some away for years to come. Young with goats’ cheese, mint, figs and honey will have you salivating, but these always have the ability to age 5+ years.
The reds are from Cabernet Franc, the parent grape to Cabernet Sauvignon, but producing a fresher, lighter and more perfumed style of wine. There is a floral and herbaceous lift to this wine, with fresh herbs and green peppercorns. The palate is medium bodied with juicy, fresh flavours of black cherry and red currant with more fresh herbs, crushed rock and polished tannins. A classic French red with some rusticity that will go with grilled lean meats, grilled vegies, mushrooms and antipasto style dishes. This will also keep 5+ years but it is worth opening some young while raw and fresh.
These are pre-release so there will be an extra week waiting for delivery, though we are keen to snap them up before the restaurants take them all. The reds and whites are the same price, and equally good, so we will be including three of each per six. If your preference is for either, please just let us know.
Tom and Dan