Yannick Amirault: Bourgueil & Saint Nicholas de Bourgueil
Bourgueil is located west of Tours in the western part of the Loire Valley. Bourgueil is situated on the northern side of the Loire , across the river from Chinon, and represents one of the northern-most appellations for growing red grape varieties in France. There are a variety of soil types here with the biggest and most cellar-worthy wines generally coming from the best vineyards on the slopes located further away from the Loire to the north and north-east of the town of Bourgueil. The vineyards on the flat gravelly river soils closer to the Loire yield wines which are usually aromatic, elegant and earlier to mature.
Amirault has about 13 hectares of vineyard holdings in Bourgueil, mostly located on, or just at, the base of these slopes to the north and northeast of the village of Bourgueil. He also has 6 hectares in Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil. Even in abundant years the yields are kept very low by doing a green harvest so the quality and consistency at this estate is remarkable. 2006 was a year that also benefited the late ripening Cabernet Franc but only those growers who worked hard to control the yields have gained the benefits. Amirault’s average yield in 2003 + 2004 was 44 hl/ha compared to authorized yields of 55 hl/ha for Bourgueil and 60 hl/ha for Saint Nicholas de Bourgueil.
All vinifications are made with indigenous yeasts with no acid or sugar adjustment. All wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered
Produced from vines with an average age of 30 years, this wine is vinified in tank and aged in large ‘tronconic’ barrels designed specially in this area. The wine is loaded with perfumed cherry and red-currant fruit along with generous hints of spice, white pepper and even chocolate. This is a perfumed and supple wine that is perfect for drinking on its perfumed and fleshy primary fruit.