Friday, 3 December 2010

Bourgeuil Yannick Amirault

Last night I had a rather good Daube de Boeuf Provençale accompanied by a terrific bottle of 2002 Bourgeuil Grand Clos, from the excellent producer Yannick Amirault.

Bourgeuil and its neighbouring appellation Chinon face each other across the Loire and both make red wines from Cabernet Franc.  The grape is better known as part of the classic Bordeaux blend, which is Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot in varying proportions.  However, its other homeland is about 300km north of Bordeaux in the central Loire valley where it makes lighter red wines that are usually drunk young but can also age really well.

This example from Yannick Amirault, although 8 years old, was in great shape.  Still plenty of guts and red brambly fruit but also more developed flavours reminiscent of mushrooms, spice and tobacco.  Long, complex and perfectly delicious with the beef casserole.

The central Loire is good hunting ground for some really interesting reds (the fantastic sweet whites are another story) that are far better value than wines of similar quality from Bordeaux or Burgundy.  Try one out.

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