Saumur Succedaneum, 2015

Regular readers will by now probably be familiar with my concept of ‘break-through’ domaines. There are a handful of vignerons in the Loire Valley who, by virtue of either supreme quality, significant vineyard holdings or dynamic personality (or perhaps all three) have left behind the world of Loire geekdom and entered the mainstream wine consciousness. Didier Dagueneau is a good example, the wines taking on cult status as they gained wider appreciation. It seems to me that the same can now be said of another Loire domaine, and that is Clos Rougeard. Availability has long been poor (where I live, at least) and in recent vintages the prices have rocketed to the level where they can no longer be a regular buy. Not for someone on my wine budget (yes, I have a budget!), anyway. Clos Rougeard’s time has come to join the cult-status break-through club.

Saumur Succedaneum

The effect of this was seen only yesterday when a case of six magnums was hammered down at Christie’s for more than £3000 after taxes (more than $4500). While this is a development we might only naturally lament, as wine drinkers (rather than wine ‘collectors’, or label drinkers) we can of course reverse our thinking, and instead turn it into an opportunity. Rather than chasing the wine now it has been anointed by the auction house, should we not be seeking out uncharted alternatives? The answer of course is yes, and in this brief article I cast the spotlight onto two hopeful contenders, neither of which have been profiled on Winedoctor before now (so this excludes the likes of Antoine Foucault, Antoine Sanzay, Jean-Pierre Chevalier and Domaine des Roches Neuves, although they all make delicious wines, and are also worth considering).

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