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2021 Saumur Champigny ‘ Le Bourg’, Fabien Duveau, Loire

£22.75 inc. VAT

I love this wine. I really enjoyed it when I first tried it at a trade tasting but when I had a bottle with dinner a couple of weeks ago, I totally loved it. It’s everything that I want from a Loire Cabernet Franc at this price, but isn’t always delivered.

Le Bourg is one of the finest sites in Saumur Champigny, made famous by Clos Rougeard whose wines sell for hundreds of pounds per bottle. Fabien’s Le Bourg may not be fetching three figure sums quite yet, but it’s a damn good wine for just over twenty quid. The soil of Le Bourg is rich in Silex limestone which adds to the wine’s complexity.

Domaine Fabien Duveau, based in Saumur Champigny and located in the village of Chacé. It owns over 40 single plots consisting of both Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc with each plot offering a slightly different terroir and individual style of wine. The soils here mainly consist of a local limestone known as tuffeau with a topsoil of clay and Fabien has overseen the organic conversion of all his vineyards. All Fabien’s wines are produced in a cave dug in the 14th century and its humidity and constant chill make it perfect for wine making and ageing. Vinification is in concrete and old oak barrels and it is then aged for 12 months in neutral oak.

This has plenty of red fruit character with huge intensity, plus nuances of wild herbs, spice, earthy minerality and then more fruit on the gloriously long finish. To really get the full benefit of this wine you should decant about 2 hours before drinking and use a big glass to swirl, sniff and marvel at such a gorgeous glass of red. Production of this is pretty small so it won’t be around for ever.




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