Jean-Marc Biet, 2018 Update

My penultimate port of call in this week-long series of tasting reports on some of the leading domaines in the Touraine appellation takes us back upriver once more, back to the vineyards around the Cher. Unlike the vineyards of Lionel Gosseaume and Henry Marionnet, which are located at the heart of the Sologne, between the Loire and the Cher, the vineyards of Jean-Marc Biet and family are located on the south bank of the Cher. Here we are just a few minutes drive from the famed Clos Roche Blanche, which kicked off this week in Touraine.

As with many Touraine domaines this property began as a agricultural smallholding, and this was still true as recently as the 1980s, when Jean-Marc took over the running of the estate from his father, Jean. He had only 5 hectares of vines, along with cereals and livestock. Thankfully Jean-Marc let go of the latter two, and subsequently built up the domaine to more than 20 hectares. He remains at the helm, but the next generation is clearly on the scene, most obviously in the shape of his daughter Julie Biet (pictured below, with Jean-Marc). Previously responsible mostly for marketing, after undertaking some studies in Amboise in 2017 she also began taking a more active role in the harvest and vinification. The results so far look promising, so it would seem we are in safe hands here.

Jean-Marc Biet

Of all the domaines featured so far this week, Jean-Marc Biet is without a doubt the most recent discovery for me. I tasted these wines for the first time only just last year, and I was immediately impressed. The varieties grown here are the traditional Touraine gang of Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Pineau d’Aunis, Gamay, Côt and so on, but thanks to some admirable limestone terroirs here on the slopes above the Cher a number of these wines take on a poise and structure not commonly encountered in the Touraine appellation.

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