Charles Joguet Chinon Rosé 2018
The wines of Chinon have long been celebrated. French humanist and native son, François Rabelais, sang their praises as far back as the sixteenth century. However, the distinction with which the appellation is regarded today is due in part to the legacy left by a more contemporary icon: Charles Joguet. This young painter and sculptor abandoned a budding art career to assume direction of the family domaine in 1957. He soon began to question the common practice of selling grapes to negociants, as his own family had done for years.
The Joguets owned prime vineyard land in between the Loire and Vienne Rivers, with some of their finest found on the left bank of the Vienne, just outside Chinon, in Sazilly. These very lieux-dits had been recognized for their character and defined before the Renaissance—some even date back to the Middle Ages. Variations in the soils of these alluvial plains were substantial enough to realize that he was sitting on what would be considered in other regions as premier cru and grand cru vineyards. To sell the grapes off or to vinify these individualized plots together would have been madness. Separate terroirs, he believed, necessitate separate vinifications. Over the course of his tenure, Charles took the risks necessary to master the single-vineyard bottling with an artistry that A.O.C. Chinon had never before seen. In so doing, he realized the true potential of the land.
Charles has since retired. Today, the young, eager, and talented Kevin Fontaine oversees the vineyards and the cellars. He and his team farm thirty-six hectares of Cabernet Franc. Closely adhering to the tradition of Charles, the domaine bottles nine different cuvées, handling each one as a unique terroir and microclimate with individualized care and attention. That ethic trickles into the cellars as well, where careful deliberation and experimentation bring about gradual change.
Made of 100% handpicked organic Cabernet Franc, from vines of 30 years old on average, grown in siliceous alluvial sand, the Joguet Rosé is made by running off a certain quantity of juice from different vats, before the color of the must becomes too pronounced. It is very slowly fermented in stainless steel vats at low temperature (15° to 17°C), to preserve all the aromas, an essential characteristic looked for in this style of wine. Malolactic fermentation is avoided, as the freshness of the wine should be preserved intact. Enjoy throughout the year, and sometimes for 2 to 3 years depending on the vintage. Look for ripe yet tangy red fruits, especially cranberry, wild raspberry and plums on the nose and in the mouth. Essence of river stones and hints of licorice pick up as the wine opens up. This is a really beautiful rendition of dry Rosé in general, and a benchmark of the Loire Valley.
|Region||France, Loire Valley, Chinon|