Alain Cailbourdin, 2017 Update

It is not often you meet a true first-generation vigneron in the high-class appellations of Pouilly-Fumé or Sancerre. While the Loire Valley is rich in opportunities for up-and-coming vignerons (and vigneronnes), such young grafters tend to be drawn to appellations such as Montlouis, Cheverny, Anjou or the Fiefs-Vendéens, where land has been more available and also more affordable than the most desirable vineyards around Saint-Andélain or Chavignol.

Alain Cailbourdin (pictured below), therefore, is one of a rare breed. He started out with nothing in 1980, first buying a couple of hectares, renting a few others, and over the ensuing three (nearly four now) decades he has built up an admirable domaine and developed an equally robust reputation. Today he has about 20 hectares of vines, about half of which are old vines in vineyards Alain bought, the rest younger vines which Alain has planted himself. He makes four cuvées, Boisfleury from a silica and limestone terroir, Les Cris from caillottes of Portlandian origin, Les Cornets from Kimmeridgian marl and Triptyque from Saint-Andélain flint, this latter cuvée being noteworthy for its vinification and élevage in oak, including 25% new oak.

Alain Cailbourdin

I recently met up with Alain, not for the first time it has to be said, to check out recent and forthcoming releases.

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