It’s one of our favorite days of the year…the release of new Guiberteau. Old vines (80+), exceptional vineyards (some of the finest in the Loire) and an ambitious and immensely talented young winemaker has made this estate the new top dog (particularly after the fall of Clos Rougeard). Very few producers garner as much excitement and hype as these bottles do.
With the new 2018 vintage Guiberteau returns pushing his remarkable wines to new heights. His “entry” 2018 bottlings are unbelievable. Even the oldest winegrowers can scarcely remember a better Loire harvest, both in quality and yield…now put that magic in the hands of Romain Guiberteau and remarkable things happen.
It’s also worth mentioning that we have a small assortment of hyper rare single vineyard 2017 and 2016’s. If you love more classical expressions of Chenin (think 2014) then I strongly recommend buying up the 2017’s. The 2016’s, meanwhile, are still absolute charmers with the intoxicating poise and verve.
Just to cap things off, we also have EXTREMELY RARE and HYPER LIMITED magnum bottlings. We expect most of these to disappear within the day. Don’t miss one of most special offerings of the year!
2018 Guiberteau Saumur Blanc
An outrageous value, our favorite “intro” Chenin blanc from the Loire. Period. The grapes come from younger vines in Clos des Carmes and Clos de Guichaux, and older vines on the bottom of the hill of Brézé. Pressing of whole clusters, indigenous yeast fermentation in tank. Aging on fine lees in tank, light filtration.
2017 Guiberteau Saumur Blanc Clos de Guichaux
This vineyard, a monopole of the domaine, is planted with a density of 5,500 vines per hectare and the maximum yield is 45 hl per hectare. The average production for this cuvée is 500 cases.
2016 Guiberteau Saumur Blanc Breze
Vines planted in 1933 and 1952 on soils of sand and clay, softer limestone bedrock.
2017 Guiberteau Saumur Rouge les Chapaudaises
Three parcels with silt and sand topsoils covering softer limestone bedrock. Vines planted in 1948.
2018 Guiberteau Saumur Rouge
Three parcels planted planted from 1955 to 1957 lying on silt and sand top soils covering soft limestone on Brézé. The maximum yield is 40-50 hl per hectare. 100% de-stemming, maceration in concrete tanks for 10-60 days. Natural yeast fermentation and aging in tank for 6 months.
2016 Guiberteau Saumur Rouge les Arboises
Hill of Brézé, south-facing, sand and silt top soils over limestone with vines planted in 1957. 100% de-stemmed, 10 days to 4 weeks maceration in concrete tanks. Natural yeast alcoholic fermentation. 18 months aging in oak barrels (80% new, 20% 1 year old), unfiltered. Less than 60 cases produced a year.
More About the Wine
Guiberteau’s Chenin have a concentration and density that recall the sex appeal of a Puligny, but also the mineral precision and pristine ethereal acidity of the Mosel. It’s an unbelievable feat. Don’t believe us? Just check out what the influential French critics Bettane & Dessauve have to say:
"The whites have obvious class and demonstrate all the potential for white-wine production in Saumur. The reds, not to be outdone, capture a unique expression of Cabernet Franc that surpasses all expectations. 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."
Chris Kissack, a.k.a. “The Wine Doctor,” a very widely regarded commentator on the world of wine agrees:
“There is no perfect domaine... but when Romain gets it right he can, in fact, hit the bull's-eye. The white wines are pure, limpid, minerally and bracing, softening with time, but always showing a delicate Chenin ripeness, not the questionable sour-fruit some domaines offer, and not the wood-tarted version available at some addresses. The reds are cool, fresh and classically Saumur in all they possess...Now is the time to buy Romain's wines, while they offer not just great drinking pleasure, but also relative value.”
His “entry” level Saumur is a down right steal, but the single vineyard for under $55 are outright crimes. The value is unreal and will make any Burgundy collector blush with envy. Beautifully mineral and seductively suave, his Cabernet Franc is often compared to Burgundy and for good reason. Violets, lavender, herbs, blackcurrant all seamlessly held by fine tannin and crushed mineral. For further notes, we have included some details about the vineyards below.
It can’t be understated that these wines are among the absolute best that France has to offer. Moreover, the Anjou, and specifically Saumur, are among the most innovative and most important emerging regions of France. Here the tentacles of Clos Rougeard have long reach, supporting, in one way or another, the work of groundbreaking Domaines Guiberteau and du Collier, while nearby Richard Leroy and Marc Angeli and their acolytes are producing equally thrilling and complex wines. If you were starting a cellar today on short money, this would be ground zero for your buying activity.