2019 Chateau du Hureau Tuffe Saumur-Champigny
Located on the south bank of the Loire River, this is a 5th generation property owned by vigneron Philippe Vatan and his daughter Agathe. The estate crafts several Cabernet Franc cuvees of differing style and pedigree, Chateau du Hureau vineyard spreads over twenty parcels of land covering around 49 acres, within three villages. In addition to their production of Cabernet Franc, they also craft a small amount of two cuvees of Chenin Blanc.
The underlying tuffeau (soft chalk) is the common thread that gives the Saumur-Champigny its distinctive quality. The tuffeau limestone drains well, and during the summer, the vines roots can still find enough moisture to help the grapes ripen.
Differences in the soil composition, the depth of the tuffeau, the altitude, plus the grapes genetic code and age all add to the potential of each plot.
This wine is the property’s largest cuvee Coming from 15 parcels of old and young Cabernet Franc vines, Tuffe is a blend from different “terroirs”, scattered around Saumur and Dampierre in Loire. Nearly opaque with a bright ruby rim yielding aromas of purple violets and mixed berries. As you delve into the glass there are elements of blackberry, anise, leather and savory spices. It is all supported with ripe tannins, acidity and classic minerality. This youthful wine will develop additional complexity over time.
By W Peter Hoyne