In two decades, Romain Guiberteau has brought his family’s estate from a key contributor to the cooperative of Saumur to among the most highly regarded and sought-after producers in all of France. Romain’s grandfather was a prominent member of the cooperative in the WWII era, no doubt at least in part because of his vineyards, most of which lie on the hill of Brézé. Brézé has long been considered one of the best vineyards to grow chenin blanc, way before anyone in New York had ever heard of Clos Rougeard. Famed French wine critic Michel Bettane has called the wine produced from the vineyard that descends from Chateau Brézé, “the quintessence of chenin”.
Now somewhat famously, Dani Foucault of Clos Rougeard mentored Romain Guiberteau during his first shot at winemaking back in ’96, when he managed 5,000 bottles of eye-opening cabernet franc. Out of his roughly 15 hectares of vineyards, all planted to either chenin blanc or cabernet franc, Romain now bottles eight cuvées, including an estate white and red made of younger vines and six single vineyard bottlings.
You can count us among this estate’s rabid fanatics, as with each bottle they confirm the greatness of chenin blanc, cabernet franc, and the mighty Loire Valley. Please don’t hesitate to snatch these up, as our annual allocation is sure to get smaller as more and more people catch on to Guiberteau.