We tasted 2014, 2009, 2005, 1989, 1976, 1964, 1961, 1959, 1947 and 1928 – notes to follow shortly.
A single vineyard on the coteaux with a clay limestone soil, this shows the potential of the 2014 vintage with its attractively textured black fruits and good length. For the moment it is a little angular in the finish. Although this would be smoothed out with food, it would be best to give the Brunetières at least another three, four or more years in bottle to soften as well as developing further complexity.
Still very youthful colour, attractive texture, rich black fruits, structure and length. Certainly drinkable now but will benefit from more time in bottle.
Probably the best vintage of the decade for Loire reds. The tannins that were initially quite marked in these wines have now softened as this 2005 showed and with all the concentration and supple texture of this vintage. Drinking now but can be safely kept.
By Philippe's admission this is not a good example of a 1989 – one of the finest vintages of the 20th century. It was Philippe's first vintage as the winemaker. As he was in the army at the time he had to apply for special leave to be at the domaine during the vintage. This was made very complicated because it was just at the time the Berlin Wall came down and all leave from the French Army was cancelled for three days with tanks moved up to the French border.
The LDB 1989 doesn't have the weight and sweet rich fruit, more reminiscent of the Rhône than the Loire that characterises this vintage. Instead it has a green pepper character that suggests that the grapes may not have been picked fully ripe.
One of the great classic Cabernet Franc vintages in this area. 1976 was a very hot, dry summer. It is becoming a little bricky in colour but has rich spicy concentration clearly made from wonderfully ripe fruit, well balanced and lovely length. A wonderful treat!
Another excellent vintage for Touraine Cabernet Franc. We were so lucky that Philippe opened this 1964 as well as a 1961. The quality of the two vintages here is the reverse of Bordeaux as it is 1961, which is a legendary vintage in Bordeaux with the 1964 good if picked before the rain. Here in the Loire 1961 is good but not at the same level as the very fine 1964.
This was one of the stars of this fabulous tasting – still has considerable depth of colour, herbal with some lightly peppery notes, lovely mouthfeel and very long. Very impressive at 52 years young! No rush to finish any remaining bottles!
1961:More evolved than the 1964, quite bricky and has become like a Pinot Noir, a well known characteristic of old Loire Cabernet Francs, light soft tannins. Still has charm but is on the decline.