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2014 Clos Rougeard, Saumur, Breze

Vinous

92

CellarTracker

93
Regular price $395
/

2014 Clos Rougeard, Saumur, Breze

Vinous

92

CellarTracker

93
Regular price $395
/

Entirely Chenin Blanc from the famed Breze, the rare white of Clos Rougeard comes from 60+ year old vines, some of the oldest in the entire region. Fermented in concrete with native yeasts, the Breze is aged in 20% new barrique for 18-24 months, and is concentrated in its minerality and yellow fruit flavors. Properly aged, this is the Montrachet of the Loire.

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The Foucault family ran the Clos Rougeard for 8 generations, and for long were more famous for being groundbreakers in the region by bottling their own wines rather than selling to negociants. Everything changed after a famed tasting in 1993, where a 1990 Le Bourg was the victor above Bordeaux chateaux like Petrus and Le Pin which were more expensive by a factor of at least ten. Charly and Nady Foucault ran the estate from 1969 until Charly's untimely passing in 2015, which led to the famed estate's sale in 2017 to the owners of Chateau Montrose. The brothers did set an impressive foundation to build upon, and left behind some of the greatest wines the world has ever known.

Clos Rougeard

Clos Rougeard stands as the absolute apex of the Cabernet Franc grape, owing in part to the tremendous vineyards, planted to vines largely in excess of a half-century of age, located within the greatest vineyards in Saumur-Champigny. The singular white Breze is just as highly sought-after and of tremendous quality, the Montrachet of the Loire. All of the vineyards are entirely tended organically, and never had chemicals used dating back all eight generations of ownership, and continuing into the first era of non-Foucault reign.

The Breze Chenin Blanc vines are 60+ years of age, and the wines are aged in 20% new oak. They will rarely finish their malo-lactic conversion, so are taut in their youth but absolutely stunning with age.

Three Cabernet Franc wines are created - Les Clos is a blended wine from three terroirs in the villages of Chacé, Varrains and Dampierre, an average of 50-70 years among them. Les Poyeaux is from 50+ year vines in Chacé, adjacent to the cellars where the tuffeau (limestone) is topped with eroded sandstone, allowing a bit softer, bright style in contast to Le Bourg; also in Chacé, these are 80+ year old vines in clay soils that are quite thin before you hit tuffeau, resulting in a dense, structured wine.

The wines were made with the same methods for as long as records were kept - 18-24 months aging in barrel following a native yeast fermentation in cement, with a small percentage of new oak used for Poyeaux, and the Bourg entirely in new oak to balance the tannin structure. Les Clos sees only neutral oak. One key to the elegance of the wines was that the press wine was always sold off, meaning that the Clos Rougeard wines resulted only from the free-run juice, not the harsher, more tannic juice that results from squeezing every drop from the grapes' skins. This is expensive, but was a must for the family (pardon the pun).

Early returns from the new ownership are exquisite, as they follow the Foucault mantra: “The only revolution at Clos Rougeard is that we have not changed anything!”

Meet the Producer

Clos Rougeard

The Foucault family ran the Clos Rougeard for 8 generations, and for long were more famous for being groundbreakers in the region by bottling their own wines rather than selling to negociants. Everything changed after a famed tasting in 1993, where a 1990 Le Bourg was the victor above Bordeaux chateaux like Petrus and Le Pin which were more expensive by a factor of at least ten. Charly and Nady Foucault ran the estate from 1969 until Charly's untimely passing in 2015, which led to the famed estate's sale in 2017 to the owners of Chateau Montrose. The brothers did set an impressive foundation to build upon, and left behind some of the greatest wines the world has ever known.

Clos Rougeard stands as the absolute apex of the Cabernet Franc grape, owing in part to the tremendous vineyards, planted to vines largely in excess of a half-century of age, located within the greatest vineyards in Saumur-Champigny. The singular white Breze is just as highly sought-after and of tremendous quality, the Montrachet of the Loire. All of the vineyards are entirely tended organically, and never had chemicals used dating back all eight generations of ownership, and continuing into the first era of non-Foucault reign.

The Breze Chenin Blanc vines are 60+ years of age, and the wines are aged in 20% new oak. They will rarely finish their malo-lactic conversion, so are taut in their youth but absolutely stunning with age.

Three Cabernet Franc wines are created - Les Clos is a blended wine from three terroirs in the villages of Chacé, Varrains and Dampierre, an average of 50-70 years among them. Les Poyeaux is from 50+ year vines in Chacé, adjacent to the cellars where the tuffeau (limestone) is topped with eroded sandstone, allowing a bit softer, bright style in contast to Le Bourg; also in Chacé, these are 80+ year old vines in clay soils that are quite thin before you hit tuffeau, resulting in a dense, structured wine.

The wines were made with the same methods for as long as records were kept - 18-24 months aging in barrel following a native yeast fermentation in cement, with a small percentage of new oak used for Poyeaux, and the Bourg entirely in new oak to balance the tannin structure. Les Clos sees only neutral oak. One key to the elegance of the wines was that the press wine was always sold off, meaning that the Clos Rougeard wines resulted only from the free-run juice, not the harsher, more tannic juice that results from squeezing every drop from the grapes' skins. This is expensive, but was a must for the family (pardon the pun).

Early returns from the new ownership are exquisite, as they follow the Foucault mantra: “The only revolution at Clos Rougeard is that we have not changed anything!”


Vinous

Vinous

92

Serious and brooding Chenin. Dark golden, offering deep, intense aromas of wax, honey, lanolin and tropical fruit. In the mouth, full-bodied and more lush than the later vintages, veering far to the Burgundian side of things. A lovely wine, but very big, and showing a good deal of oak influence.

What the Critics are Saying

Vinous

Vinous

92

Serious and brooding Chenin. Dark golden, offering deep, intense aromas of wax, honey, lanolin and tropical fruit. In the mouth, full-bodied and more lush than the later vintages, veering far to the Burgundian side of things. A lovely wine, but very big, and showing a good deal of oak influence.