Mix and match with other Direct wines from this producer for minimum purchase of 6 bottles (or equivalent of 4500mL) per producer. Purchases must be in multiples of 6. Ships directly from winery to you in a few weeks - $4/bottle for 12 (+$2 if order less than $400) or more & $6/bottle for 6 (+$2 if order less than $200) per producer.
Our tasting impressions
Dark and unctuous in the glass with a rosy rim. The brambly, berry nose is rich and sweet but an herbal note adds intrigue. It has excellent varietal character with impressive depth of flavors. It’s surprisingly light - despite the hardly perceptible alcohol as well as the tannins. This is poised for greatness...and a very long life, while being quite tasty now.
About this wine
Their flagship wine that up until recently was called Vieilles Vignes and now named for this top-flight vineyard. 100% Cabernet Franc from vines 40-75 years old planted in clay, limestone and chalk soils on south facing volcanic ash formed hills. Yields are 30hl/ha. Fermentation is 3 weeks in large cement tanks with the caps punched by human feet.
Top Bourgueil wines age magnificently. I have tasted this cuvée from 1971, 1985 and 1993. All were fresh and fabulous. Given that the vines are older and winemaking improved, current vintages can fare even better.
About the grape
Cabernet Franc, an ancient variety, thrives in cooler climates because it ripens best slowly. This allows its green, vegetal flavorings to be balanced and nuanced. Green bell pepper is a frequent flavor descriptor of these wines.
Cabernet Franc tends to produce lighter, softer, more acidic and less tannic wines than Cabernet Sauvignon (the latter is an offspring of the former crossed with Sauvignon Blanc). The style of Cabernet Franc wines, which are made all over the world, can range from simple and easy drinking to dark, brooding and substantial. The best can age for decades.
About the vintage
Patrice Nau considers this one of the three best vintages of his 22 year career. 2018 had sustained and unprecedented torrid temperatures that taxed vines and fruit. Alcohol levels spiked substantially from prior vintages. The Loire Valley, with its high-acid red wines were able to balance the alcohol and rich fruit.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl 1855
The brothers Nau are (L-R in the photo) Patrice (manager and winemaker), Bertrand and their brother-in-law, Abel. Abel and Bertrand are semi-retired. They operate this 20 hectare domaine that produces about 40,000 bottles annually. The property orginally was a poly-farm but now grows only grapes commercially.
All grapes are hand-harvested and de-stemmed. They use gentle extraction known as jus de goutte (free-run wine as opposed to pressing). Vinification is done in large concrete tanks at a controlled temperature.
We seem to bump into family members all over this sprawling estate. They all are cheerful, gracious and hospitable. A few remnants of the old farm remain and we were offered fresh picked cherries after strolling through the vineyards.
This photo is from a few years back, but we couldn’t resist It so wonderfully depicts the whimsical, good-natured, down-to-earth character of this family who impart so much joy in their wines. Don’t make the mistake though of thinking they aren’t serious about wine. One taste and you will recognize they are world class.