Charles Joguet is one of the rare instances in wine when the wines actually live up to the hype. The Estate has become one of the most influential wineries in the Loire Valley and helped establish Chinon as the top-tier locale for Cabernet Franc. As the forgotten parent of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, its wines are wrought with aromas of pencil shavings, stones, plums, and bell pepper.
Charles Joguet manages to show the full range of Cabernet Franc from the different wines he produces. The 1999 Clos du Chêne Vert will likely forever be the very best Loire Valley wine I have ever had (and, yes, I've tasted vintages of Clos Rougeard going back to the 70s.)
Few wines with such incredible pedigree can be purchased at such reasonable prices. I hope you'll take the time discover the wines of Charles Joguet.
Les Petites Roches 2018 $24.99
This wine is at the cornerstone of the production from Joguet. This comes from 35-year old vines from specific sites that are selected to produce a wine with more density and complexity than most entry-level Loire wines. These sites are planted on limestone, siliceous alluvial sands, and gravel. The wine is made entirely from free-run juice and aged in tank.
Les Varennes du Grand Clos is an organically farmed vineyard planted in 1962 and 1976 on a slope of siliceous clay and limestone that has proven its ability to yield complex wines that can age for decades. The wine ages for over a year in barrel before bottling. Finesse and structure are Les Varennes' signature, yielding to the harmony of fruit, acid, and tannins. Its earthy flavors pair perfectly with rustic French cuisine; try a beef stew or wild mushrooms for a guaranteed match.
This is easily one of the best vineyard sites in the Loire Valley and is owned entirely by Charles Joguet, known as a monopole in France. This is one of Chinon's oldest documented vineyard sites, named for an 800-year-old Green Oak tree that hung over the parcel--and has since been replanted. This exquisite wine is built for aging, as in its youth the aromas and flavors are packed densely together, and the tannins are a bit ferocious.