Hurray for Hureau!

5/12/2007 -

If there ever is a vintage to test the waters of Cabernet Franc on a virgin palate it is the 2005 vintage. Like a confluence of 2004 and 2003 it has the wonderful ripe, sappy fruit of 2003 but also has the structure and acidity of 2004. These are wines that are full of fruit with the necessary backbone for middle to long term aging. Chateau de Hureau is an estate that does not get the respect it deserves in the United States despite it receiving phenomenal press in England and France. The top cuvèes sell out very quickly while the normal Saumur-Champigny is not far behind.  It is in a marginal region (Saumur) when it comes to perception by the American wine-drinking public. Saumur-Champigny is not exactly an area that makes consumers drool like Pomerol, Gevrey-Chambertin or even Vouvray. It also is a region where there is a superstar estate (Clos Rougeard) that takes away all the limelight from almost everybody else. As we firmly believe here at Chambers Street Wines it is only about one thing and that is the quality of the juice in the bottle. And this is some serious juice. It has enormous depth of fruit with sleek yet very ripe tannins and dazzling purity. For such a "humble" wine this has the structure to enable some mid-term aging. As an aside Chateau Hureau will be officially organic as of the 2007 vintage.

The soil is widely variable but has one specific type that links all of their vineyards together and that is limestone. Limestone is the core type of soil under various types of topsoil which include clay or sand. The basic estate bottling in this offer is from a mixture of seventeen plots of vines that range in age with some of the vines being almost seventy years old. The wine is raised and goes through malo in stainless steels vats so there is not even a hint of wood and as a result the fruit is pure, juicy and friendly. The "Fevettes" is produced from two plots with some exceptional topsoil (fertile clay and sand) that always produce a solidly structured red wine with tons of fruit and very suave tannins. The 2005 is particularly compelling. It can be drunk young or aged for a 10-15 years. The "Cuvèe Lisagathe"  is Hureau's Grand Cru and easily one of the best reds made in the Loire Valley in 2005. The fruit is pure, the tannins are incredibly silky and this has the structure to age gracefully for two decades or more. Maybe the best "Cuvèe Lisagathe" ever? This wine is a screaming value at the price asked for so this is something to load up on. The Chateau de Hureau Saumur Blanc is always an interesting wine and one of the most unique white wines of the Loire Valley. Picked at around 30hl/ha this wine this Chenin is ripe with wonderful crisp acids and loads of minerality. The Chenin in this plot tends to get very ripe so in extremely warm vintages they make a desert wine but more often than not the wine is dry and needs some time before becoming approachable.

You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered