Our featured wine for June comes to us from one of the jewels of central France, Chinon! Located within the expansive and beautiful Loire Valley, Charles Joguet is widely considered as one of the benchmark producers of the region and its signature red grape variety, Cabernet Franc.
Les Petites Roches, or, the little rocks, is a cuvee that Joguet makes specifically for early drinking. The wine has firm structure with well balanced acidity and tannin, lifting notes of fresh strawberry, green pepper, peppercorn, roses, and raspberries.
Charles Joguet and his Chinon Wines:
The wines of Chinon are praised in literature and press in France as far back as the 16th century. However, we will have to move to a much more contemporary time for the beginning of Charles Joguet’s story. A promising young artist, Charles took over the family estate in the 1950s. To that point, the Joguets sold all of their grapes to other producers for their own winemaking purposes, but Charles recognized that the plots of vineyards that had been owned by his family for years were producing grapes of special quality, and decided to begin making wine under his own label.
Charles took many risks with his newly found element of the family business, one of which was to bottle wines from different, distinct single vineyards. Charles believed that each site expressed itself uniquely in the wine, and deserved to be showcased all on its own. The wines are divided into two categories: wines for aging and wines for drinking young. Les Petites Roches, named for the little rocks of gravelly sand and limestone where it is grown, falls into the latter category. To say that it is for drinking young is not to say that it isn’t serious wine, as Charles himself treated these wines with the same care as the wines that demanded 3 times the price.
Somm’s notes the Joguet Les Petites Roches:
“The Joguet wines, across the board, are some of the most criminally underpriced wines in the world. For the class and character they exhibit, they are a steal. Les Petites Roches is about the best $15 glass of red wine out there, and it would pair beautifully with a number of menu items, as its medium body and zippy acidity give it a lot of versatility. Personally, my go to choice would be the Moulard Duck Breast, as the earth and fruit of the wine balance out the iron-rich duck.”
– Patrick, Sommelier at Reserve Wine and Food