Catherine & Pierre Breton, 2013 Update

Looking back to spring this year, when I blasted Winedoctor with Vouvray updates, including reports on domaines new to me as well as updates on old favourites, I overlooked Catherine and Pierre Breton. That’s fair enough, you might say, because we all know that Pierre and Catherine are based in Bourgueil, and are known for their range of red wines, mostly Bourgueil but also one cuvée from Chinon, from vines in Beaumont to be precise.

Well, that’s a shame, because on a couple of recent occasions when I have encountered Pierre (pictured below) and his wines it is La Dilettante, a sparkling wine made from vines owned by Catherine’s family upriver, in Vouvray, that I have found to be one of the most striking. Although Pierre generally leads in the cellars, La Dilettante – which translates as the dabbler, by the way – is Catherine’s work. She started a few years ago with a sparkling Vouvray, although more recently I note a Vouvray Sec and an easy-drinking Bourgueil, made using carbonic maceration, have also joined the fray.

Catherine & Pierre Breton

Having said that, by chance I haven’t tasted many of Pierre’s grander cuvées recently, as every time we meet he seems to have brought along his lower-level wines which feel more like fun and funky ‘wines for wine bars’ than the rather more serious reds I recall from encounters only a few years ago; this is quite probably because we keep meeting up at ‘natural’ wine fairs, where such wines might go down well, I expect. Such wines typically include Trinch!, which I know has a dedicated following in some quarters but I have always found it rather variable, as well as the aforementioned La Dilettante wines. I think it is not with these wines but with the likes of his Bourgueil Les Perrières, and one or two other Bourgueil cuvées, that Pierre really secured his reputation as one of the most talented winemakers of the Loire Valley.

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