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Domaine les Poete Le Cote Cabernet 2011
Guillaume comes from a family of viticulturalists and his father had vineyards in Quincy and Reuilly, but after it became apparent that his sons had no interest in continuuing the family domaine, he sold the vineyards in 2001. It was during this time that Guillaume was working in some of France’s finest restaurants both as a cook and a sommelier, but eventually he says “the soul of a winemaker awoke in me”. He went to Beaune to study viticulture and oenology determined to return to the Loire valley and piece together a domaine of his own.
In 2007 after completing his studies he began to look for vineyards and soon found a plot of very old gamay vines on the right bank of the Cher river. He began here and has slowly patched together a tiny domaine today of more than 25 single plots that he farms himself biodynamically. Only 4.5 hectares total are put into production here so quantities are extremely small.
Precision, freshness, and delicacy are the pursuit here and Guillaume believes that terroir is the most important thing, often citing his motto 'moins mais mieux' – 'less but better".
Stretching east along the steep banks of the Loire River, Touraine is a major part of the Middle Loire. Soil variations of clay, sand, tuffeau and gravel throughout its subregions support both white and red varieties. Chinon and Bourgueil remain the source of Loire’s finest Cabernet Franc; various styles of the most outstanding Chenin blanc come from Vouvray and Montlouis.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.