2018 Domaine Fouet, Saumur Champigny “L’Amarante” Loire Valley, France.
The authentic and pure Cabernet Franc L’Amarante by Julien Fouet, the sixth generation vigneron who runs his 15-hectare Fouet estate, is full of earth dense red fruits, along with spice, mineral and black licorice notes, making a for an excellent old world value and wine to enjoy with hearty Winter cuisine, especially rustic meat dishes. The palate, which is medium/full and gripping, opens up nicely with air, gaining some pretty floral elements, blackberries, kirsch and subtle green pepper, but there is plenty of acidity and raw tannin here in this Saumur Champigny Rouge that keeps things taut and with a dry and stony character. The dark garnet Fouet saw a classic 10 day maceration and vat aging for less than a year before bottling, making for a wine of varietal purity that has a real sense of place.
In recent years Domaine Fouet has employed organic methods, going fully certified in 2017, in the vines and keeps things clean and simple in the cellar with the wines seeing traditional winemaking to promote terroir transparency, which this cuvée L’Amanante showing true sense of place. The Saumur Champigny region is one of most important areas for Cabernet Franc in the world, it is set of calcareous and chalky soils and capable of producing incredible and age worthy wines, with some cult producers like Clos Rougeard getting Grand Cru Burgundy prices for their rare bottlings. Though, wines like this one by Domaine Fouet, give enthusiasts some top notch values and I highly recommend the L’Amarante for savvy Cab Franc fans. There’s a lot like here with Domaine Fouet’s wines, imported by Wine Wise here in California, especially this impressive effort, which is an outstanding bargain, drink it over the next 3 to 5 years.
($25 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive