Yannick Amirault, 2018 Update
The wines of Yannick and Benoît Amirault are good examples of why you cannot pigeon-hole Chinon as ‘serious’ and Bourgueil (or its neighbour St Nicolas de Bourgueil) as ‘light’, as I have seen some do when trying to differentiate between these appellations. This father-and-son team have vines in a number of parcels in Bourgueil and St Nicolas de Bourgueil, the soils predominantly gravel or limestone, or tuffeau as the latter is sometimes referred to in this region. And in the hands of the Amiraults, these tuffeau terroirs yield wines which rival many of the top cuvées made in Chinon, even those that originate from the privileged limestone côtes around Cravant-les-Coteaux.
I try to call in on Benoît Amirault as often as I can, a tour of the various Amirault vineyards undertaken in 2016 and a visit to check out the harvest in 2017 (when I took the picture above) being particularly memorable occasions. On this most recent meeting with Benoît I was able to revisit these two years through their wines, as I tasted my way through a selection from the 2016 and 2017 vintages, both excellent years for the red wines of the Loire Valley.Please log in to continue reading: