Maine Wine Industry Update (We have it pretty good in Maine)
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Domaine de la Chevalerie (the best producer in Bourgueil)

This kind of follows on the heels of my last post about changes in the wine market in ME and how I plan on doing more exciting events and bringing in limited quantities of exciting rare wines.  As such I'm getting a very limited amount of a 1996 70 year old vine single vineyard Bourgueil.  This is the favorite Bourgueil producer of my new French importer: Laurent Bonnois who was born and raised here.  Consider this a first instalment of exciting things to come:

Pierre Caslot at the entrance to Chevalerie's caverns

Domaine de la Chevalerie is located in Bourgueil in the Loire valley.  It was founded by the Caslot family in 1640 and is now managed by the 13th and 14th generation: Pierre with his children Emmanuel and St├ęphanie.  The family has 81 acres spread about the appellation that they farm organically.  Some vineyards are sold off to negociants, but they have many older vine plantings near the house that they vinify themselves in their cellar: one of the largest in the Loire.  The cellar is in fact a cavern that was dug out in the 11th and 13th centuries to provide stone for the adjacent town. 

The cellar

I have their 2009 cuvee Cassiopee': an excellently young, vibrant, lush Cabernet Franc with dark fruit, black pepper, and good balance from it's acidity.  This is available at RSVP and Whole Foods for about $16.

I was lucky enough to get 5 cases of a 2001 single vineyard wine from them called cuvee Chevalerie.  I planned on doing some promotion for it but it all sold out before I had the chance.  The Chevalerie cuvee was fantastic.  The sleek fruit, spice, tannin, and earthy components had all come together beautifully into this really polished, mature wine.  It was so sleek it reminded me more of a Bordeaux Pomerol than a Loire Cabernet Franc.  Unfortunately it sold out immediately. 

The good news is that the winery is going to send me a bit of 1996 cuvee Breteche!  This is a single vineyard old vine bottling that has been resting in the cavern beneath the Caslot residence for 15 years.  1996 was a fantastic vintage in Bourgueil.  I am confidant that this wine will be spectacular and totally unique.  My supply will be very limited, so if you would like to be sure of getting a bottle or two let me know and I will start making an allocation list.  Retail on this will be about 24-25.  Lucky your not in NY where it will be about $30.  Let me know what wine shop you would like to pick the wine up through and I will make arrangements.


I've even found a clip of Pierre and some of his neighbors working in the vineyards from a French news program.  Check it out!


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