Cabernet Franc rules the roost in Bourgueil, an appellation dedicated solely to reds and rosé. These wines are resplendent of raspberry and the grape’s hallmark “pencil shaving” aromas, and can be slightly more tannic than wines from neighboring Chinon.
Location: Bourgueil incorporates 7 communes on the gently sloping right bank of the Loire.
- 1,400 hectares / 3,459 acres
Soil: Half of the vineyards stretch across a hillside of Turonian chalk (limestone) overlooking the Loire. The other half rest on sand and gravel terraces, ancient silt deposits from the Loire
Climate: Much of the vineyard land opens to river, and oceanic influences traveling up the valley can be clearly felt. The slope facing due south and the woodland-covered plateau protect the slopes from the north wind.
- Approximately 70,000 hl / 1,849,204 gallons, including 4% rosé.
- 55 hl/ha
- Cabernet Franc, with up to 10% Cabernet Sauvignon permitted in the blend.
Growing/Production Practices: Density 5,000 vines/hectare. Pruning, strictly regulated, is single Guyot.
- Appearance: Bright purple, garnet
- Nose: Intense cherry, strawberry and violet for wines grown on gravel soils; raspberry and spice evolve to leather and roasted meat for wines grown on limestone.
- Flavors: Supple and fruity or dense and meaty, again, depending on where grown. Medium-bodied with moderate tannins and alcohol.
- Brighter, fruitier Bourgueil pairs well with grilled or sautéed white meat, especially pork.
- Bolder Bourgueil matches flavor-packed dishes including steak au poivre or BBQ chicken.
- For fans of red wine and cheese, pair Bourgueil with aged, firm goat and sheep’s milk cheeses.