Domaine de la Butte
Jacky Blot was a wine broker in Tours but, when the opportunity came up in 1988 to buy some vines, he took the plunge and bought 8 hectares of 50 to 70 year old vines in Montlouis-Sur-Loire in the Touraine region of Central France, and founded Domaine de La Taille Aux Loups; he has been making wine ever since. Jacky is renowned by connoisseurs for his white wines made from Chenin Blanc in the appellations of Montlouis and Vouvray, and he wanted to make red wines of the same quality. So he travelled around the central Loire Valley and in 2002 found 14 hectares of south-facing slopes (Butte means “mound” or hillock” in French) in Bourgueil, 12 of which were in a single plot, and his Domaine de la Butte was born. The whole estate, which is farmed sustainably and organically is planted on calcareous sedimentary rock from the end of the secondary era, exclusively with Cabernet Franc. The average age of the vines is 30 years - with some well over 50. Jacky takes an minimal intervention approach; the grapes are hand-picked, only native yeasts are used to ferment, and new wood is 25%. The cellars are underground, dug into the tuffeau hill but, before the grapes get gravity fed into the winery, they are sorted three times: firstly on the vine, then at sorting tables set up at the end of the rows and lastly just outside the winery on a sophisticated sorting table with a blowing system. Domaine de la Butte is one of the leading estates in the Bourgueil appellation; the wines are meticulously made with a Burgundian approach. Each cuvée is fermented separately according to the vines’ position in the vineyard. These small batch wines are some of the most sensuous Cabernets Francs the world has to offer. Displaying beautiful fruit, they are complex suave and sophisticated wines of outstanding quality.