Pierre and Catherine BRETON, Restigné
Certified Organic by Ecocert, Certified Biodynamic by Demeter, natural
A husband-and-wife operation in the Loire Valley, the Bretons have recently celebrated their 30thvintage and have built their reputation on making pure Cabernet Francs from Bourgueil and Chinon using biodynamic viticulture and vinification.
The Breton philosophy stems, in their own words, from a love of the land. The vineyards see ultra-intense organic care, no mean feat in this northerly clime; they avoid chemical fertilisers and weed killers, restrict yields to something like 40-45 hl/ha (although some cuvées are below 35 hl/ha) and harvest by hand. The Bretons use indigenous yeasts and their desire for “natural” winemaking comes through strong in their resistance to the use of sulphites, with typically just 10 mg/l added at bottling to many cuvées, although some are bottled without any sulphites at all. And they are bottled unfiltered.
Bourgueil Nuits d’Ivresse is a selection from old vine Cabernet Franc, matured for 2 years in 2 year-old oak barrels. No SO2 added at any stage, It is a dense, lively, fruit-forward wine, it evokes eating fresh blackberries in a pine forest. Simultaneously plush and structured, it is ready to drink now after a little decanting, but it also will evolve beautifully for at least ten years.