At Domaine de la Butte, Jacky Blot makes masterful wines using a combination of organic farming, old Cabernet Franc vines and a low-tech approach in the winery. Comparisons with Bordeaux are unavoidable. The wines have beautiful dark fruit flavours and great concentration, married with a wonderful, savoury, cedar wood note that is typical of the best wines of the Médoc. But you would be hard-pressed to find Bordeaux this good at anything close to the same price. For whatever reason, Loire Cabernet Franc is relatively undervalued. Over on JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming called the previous vintage 'a claret-killer', and it's hard to disagree.
Le Haut de la Butte comes from a six hectare plot at the highest point of the domaine. Here the vines are around 35 years old, and the wine is fermented and aged in a mix of cement and old oak barrels. Wild yeasts are used and no fining or filtration takes place. The 2017 is delicious already, the perfect dinner wine in so many ways, yet it will improve over many years if you can cellar it.
At this price, it's hard to think of better value for those who like classic, elegant, balanced wines for their table. Just three cases available. Don't miss it.
...and there's more
So much has come in recently that's worth exploring, here are just a few things to look at.
Chloe Chatzivaritis is one of Greece's best young winemakers, reinventing her family domaine as a source of natural wines made with real skill. We have several wines in stock. The orange 'Ni' and the Negoska Carbonic are highlights, but all are great.
Romaneaux-Destezet is a domaine created by Hervé Souhaut, although it is now his name that appears on the labels. Hervé farms five hectares of old vines in St-Joseph and produces various wines from different vineyards. The wines are energising expressions of Syrah (and in one case, Gamay).
If you're looking for white wine that punches seriously above its weight, don't miss a new parcel of Gini - one of the best quality producers in Soave. We have two vintages of the Soave Classico - a steal - and one of the old vine single vineyard wine - amazingly good and very well priced.