Pierre Gauthier/Domaine du Bel Air, 2016 Bourgueil, Clos Nouveau
Historically this was the most prized vineyard in Bourgeuil, belonging to the monks at the local abbey for centuries. Fully surrounded by a ten foot wall, this site is located just inside the current village limits of Benais where Pierre & Rodolphe Gauthier’s winery is located. When this neglected vineyard became available, Pierre jumped at the opportunity and restoring the site to its once prestigious position became a labor of love for father and son.
With very similar geology to Clos Rougeard’s famed Le Bourg vineyard, thin clay topsoil covers mother bedrock of tuffeaux limestone, the Gauthiers have even replaced the stakes with traditional slate pickets.
The wine shows intriguing, delicate mineral notes backed up by fairly firm, ripe tannins and classic Cabernet Franc varietal notes. Rich, but showing great finesse, the ripe fruit is seductive, but the structure wants us to age it for a few years before the true splendor of the wine is exposed.