Henri Bourgeois, 2019 Update

Ever since my early adventures discovering the wines of the Loire Valley (let’s not get into a debate about how long ago that might have been, and no jokes about how pre-phylloxera wines stored in amphorae might have tasted, thank you) I have been a fan of the wines of Henri Bourgeois. This expansive domaine and négociant remains a very significant player in the region, in terms of quality, range, diversity and volume. To reflect the fact that this business now involves several lineages and generations of the Bourgeois family, a number of cuvées are now being released under the Famille Bourgeois label.

Famille Bourgeois

In this most recent review of the wines of Famille Bourgeois with Arnaud Bourgeois (pictured above) I tasted across the range, taking in some entry-level wines, well-known classics such as Jadis, Sancerre d’Antan and Etienne Henri, often in an older vintage alongside the current release, as well as several of the new single-vineyard cuvées, including Le Cotelin and Les Côtes aux Valets. I thought for a change, instead of tasting through the portfolio in the usual fashion, I should start with the white cuvées from limestone, and finish with those from flint (before moving onto the handful of reds). Identifying the terroir of origin for a single wine tasted blind is a minefield in Sancerre, but identifying traits within groups of wines, in this fashion, can be informative. The limestone cuvées, mostly from Kimmeridgian soils around Chavignol, show more finesse than the flint cuvées, which are mostly from the slopes of Saint-Satur and tend to display more substance and breadth.

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