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Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Galichets 2003

Cabernet Franc from Loire, France
  • W&S94
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley is finally receiving long overdue respect. Remarkably juicy, textured, versatile with food, and immensely age worthy, the Cabernet Franc wines of Bourgueil, Chinon, Saumur and St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil are both a traditional staple and a rediscovered rage on the Paris bistro/wine bar scene. Chief among the best Loire red winemakers is Pierre Breton (whose last name is also the name for Cabernet Franc in the local dialect.)Pierre and Catherine Breton's wines are served at virtually every hot wine bar in Paris.

Pierre Breton practices organic viticulture and uses only a minimal dosage of sulfur. The wine is classified as made from "organic agriculture".

His cuvées are vinified according to their character (defined mainly by the soil and the vines' age). Bourgueil les Galichets, from 50-year-old vines on gravely soil, is minerally, pure and loaded with fresh cherry and berry fruit. This is REAL wine!

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 94
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Catherine & Pierre Breton

Catherine & Pierre Breton

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Catherine & Pierre Breton, Loire, France
Image of winery
Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley is finally receiving long overdue respect. Remarkably juicy, textured, versatile with food, and immensely age worthy, the Cabernet Franc wines of Bourgueil, Chinon, Saumur and St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil are both a traditional staple and a rediscovered rage on the Paris bistro/wine bar scene. Chief among the best Loire red winemakers is Pierre Breton (whose last name is also the name for Cabernet Franc in the local dialect.)

Pierre and Catherine Breton’s wines are served at virtually every hot wine bar in Paris. Pierre makes several cuvées from various vineyard sites and his cuvée of plain Bourgueil is his most accessible wine, meant for immediate drinking pleasure.

Pierre Breton, left, practices organic viticulture and uses only a minimal dosage of sulfur. The wine is classified as made from “organic agriculture”.

Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux, the picturesque Loire valley produces pleasant wines of just about every style. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the Atlantic coast to the center of France.

The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire—farthest west and closest to the Atlantic—has a maritime climate and focuses on the Melon de Bourgogne variety, which makes refreshing, crisp, aromatic whites.

The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc produces some of, if not the most, outstanding dry and sweet wines with a sleek, mineral edge and characteristics of crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Malbec (known locally as Côt).

The Upper Loire, with a warm, continental climate, is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.

Cabernet Franc

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The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets, Cabernet Franc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. While both are important grapes in modern day, high quality Bordeaux, interestingly, Cabernet Franc most likely originated from the Basque region of France sometime during the middle 1600’s. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine producing world, with some of its most classic examples from France’s Loire Valley, in the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil and Saumur-Champigny. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc performs quite well in parts of California, New York and Virginia. It is also a great blending grape.

In the Glass

Cabernet Franc typically tastes of red raspberries, cherries and herbs, with a stunning perfume of violets, tobacco and spice.

Perfect Pairings

Mouthwatering acidity makes Cabernet Franc an incredibly food-friendly wine, helping to cut through the richness of fatty meat dishes. It especially shines in tandem with lamb, and its affinity for the spice cabinet allows it to pair perfectly with Chinese dishes prepared with Szechuan pepper and five-spice.

Sommelier Secrets

One of California's best-kept secrets is the Happy Canyon appellation of Santa Barbara. Here Cabernet Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory aromas and polished tannins.

EWLFRBREBOG02_2003 Item# 80244