Alain Cailbourdin, 2019 Update
Alain Cailbourdin has had a tough time of it in recent years. So have others up and down the Loire Valley of course, but I would suggest Alain has suffered more than many. The problem has, of course, been frost. In the 2017 vintage Alain lost about 50% of his crop to frost (more than he told me last year), whereas in 2016 he declares the damage to have been somewhat higher, at about 70%. This means, adding up the 2016 and 2017 vintages, Alain has brought in a volume which is barely equivalent to a normal harvest. I know of others who have lost more, for example Bonnet-Huteau in Muscadet, but there are not many who can beat Alain’s story across these two vintages.
Happily things were better here (and everywhere else) in the 2018 vintage, a generous year which has given us both quantity and quality. On this most recent encounter with Alain (pictured above) I tasted through the 2018 vintage, all samples drawn from cuve, as well as the 2017 vintage from bottle, and of course I took a look at the latest release of Triptyque.Please log in to continue reading: