Home > Good, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Cabernet Franc from Bourgueil both Grafted and Ungrafted

Cabernet Franc from Bourgueil both Grafted and Ungrafted


Both of these wines are produced from Cabernet Franc in Bourgueil. As a result of the devastating 19th Phylloxera epidemic, the vast majority of the European wines I drink are made from vines grafted on American rootstock. Indeed this is the case of the bottle from Domaine Guion which is made from 35-80 year old vines. Some producers such as Catherine & Pierre Breton produce small amounts of wine from ungrafted vines. In France these wines are known as Franc de Pied. In 2000 the Breton’s planted a very small parcel of ungrafted vines from cuttings from their own vines. This parcel is next to Les Galichets. Both of these wines were quite nice with the Domaine Guion showing remarkable quality for the price. I recently raved over the 2010 Breton, Beaumont, Chinon (you may read about it here) so I was very excited to try the 2010 Breton, Franc de Pied. It had lovely earthy fruit and on the first night I really had the impression that this wine would develop for several years and easily drink well for a decade. It was my favorite of the two. On the second night it took a turn by losing quite a lot of steam. In retrospect I should have tasted it alongside the Les Galichets to get a sense of the terroir and maybe the ungrafted quality so I cannot comment on that. For those curious about trying a Franc de Pied wine it is certainly a worthy selection but it ultimately remained less moving than the excellent Beaumont from Chinon. The Domaine Guian was purchased at Chambers Street Wines and the Domaine Breton at MacArthur Beverages.

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2011 Domaine Guion, Cuvee Domaine, Bourgueil – $12
Imported by Fruits of Vine. This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from 35-80 year old vines which were fermented with indigenous yeasts. It sees only neutral oak. Alcohol 12%. The color was a light, grapey purple. The light to medium strength nose had a good, deep scent of stones along with blue and black fruit. On the second night there was a pepper aroma. In the mouth the flavors followed the nose with tart acidity then a touch of ripeness. On the second night it developed finely textured black and red fruit in the finish with fine+ tannins in the aftertaste. While best on the first night it was still strong on the second. *** Now-2017.

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2010 Catherine & Pierre Breton, Franc de Pied, Bourgueil – $32
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from a 0.12 hectare parcel of ungrafted 12-year-old vines located on soils of gravelly sand. The fruit is fermented with indigenous yeasts and is aged for one year in stainless steel. Alcohol 12% The color was a medium purple ruby with a bit of cloudy sediment towards the end. The nose was earthy with mixed berries. In the mouth there were gently ripe and focused black fruit which became puckering in the finish There were drying firm tannins in the finish. With air a little dry pepper note came out along with raspberry flavors. The aftertaste became lifted with a little scented, ripe and earthy flavor. There was an engaging darkness and some racy quality. On the second night the wine was much earthier with red and yeasty flavors. It seems to lack vigor and did not hold up as well. *** Now-2022.

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