Many people will think that the natural wine movement is a very recent thing, but that is incorrect, or at the very least an incomplete way of looking at it. Throughout the major winemaking regions of Europe there are vineyards and family producers that have been following many of these practices for multiple generations, and have deviated very little from what has worked for them over the years. Terms like 'Organic' or 'Biodynamic' didn't change anything about their process, simply described what they had already been doing. For many it's just the way things have always been done, and both time and science have confirmed their ways to be both sustainable and healthy for their vineyards. Domaine Guion is quietly considered one of the leaders of the post-WWII wine development, establishing their Bourgueil farm in the early 1950s that marries polycultural and holistic farming practices with winemaking, using organic methods well before certification was introduced in the mid-80s. Over time they have emphasized the winemaking more in their farm and increased their vineyard planting, now making one wine from their younger vines and their 'Cuvee Prestige' from their older vines that approach 80 years of age. After spending 12 months in large neutral barrels, this bottling also ages in a network of shared local caves once used as a hiding space for resistance fighters in WWII. One of the prettiest aromas you will find for a Loire Cabernet Franc, full of earthy red fruits and violets, with the native yeasts used in fermentation bringing out a tart cranberry note and a touch of muskiness. On the palate the fine silky tannns of Cabernet Franc are on great display, super polished and carrying the racy red fruits along, bright at first with some deeper raspberry and cherry skin tones coming through as it opens up. This has the appealing signatures of a good natural wine without verging into the realm of 'unclean', making for a very versatile food wine that can handle some heartier red meats but is still soft enough with the tannins to pair with roasted chicken or pork.
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