Nau Frères Bourgueil Les Brunetières 2017

2017
Cabernet Franc
Domaine Nau Frères
$28.00

Minimum purchase 6 bottles (or equivalent of 4500mL) mix and match with other Direct wines from this producer. Purchases must be in multiples of 6. Ships directly from winery to you in a few weeks - $4/bottle for 12 or more & $6/bottle for 6.

Our tasting impressions

The 2017 (fka Vieilles Vignes) seems bigger and spicier but not as bright as the 2014. The tannins are smooth. Despite some heft, it is drinking fabulously and is impressively deep. Yet another excellent flagship Bourgueil from the Brothers Nau.

 

About this wine

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

2017 was framed by significant frost in April - just after the bud break (much like it was in 2016). But Bourgueil fared better than much of the region. Conversely, the summer was persistently hot, resulting in many harvesting in late August. Overall, the quality is very good, though opportunistic picking determined if the grapes developed sufficient acidity to counteract their ripeness.

  

Suggested Glassware: Grassl 1855

Domaine Nau Frères

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.