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Domaine Guiberteau

Pulsating Organic Saumur from the “Rougeard for a new generation.”

When a great winegrower recommends you look at a fellow vigneron's wares, our rule of thumb is to go for it... tout suite. Back in 2012, we ended up visiting a young grower in Saumur who was said to be doing something pretty special at his ancestral estate. The tip-off was indeed a good one, and we are delighted to represent Domaine Guiberteau in Australia.

Riding the crest of a new wave, Romain Guiberteau has emerged as one of Saumur’s brightest talents. Much like Stéphane Moreau in Chablis, Guiberteau gave up a promising career outside the realm of wine to return to his family’s vineyards where he was fortunate to inherit a patrimony of top-notch, old-vine holdings spread across the communes of Montreuil-Bellay, Épieds and some wonderful parcels in Saumur’s de facto grand cru of Brézé including the historic Clos des Carmes.

Guiberteau was mentored by local legend Nady Foucault of Clos Rougeard fame and has been equally inspired by Thierry Germain of Domaine des Roches Neuves. He is also a very good friend of Benjamin Dagueneau, another producer that has influenced his work. The inspiration provided by these great growers, plus the sheer quality of Guiberteau’s brilliant sites, is reflected in his penetrating, intense whites and reds. The whites are some of the most refined and snowflake-pure renditions of Chenin Blanc that we have tasted while the reds take Cabernet Franc to a rare level of elegance and texture. In short, a profound lineup from one of the most exciting of the Loire’s young turks. Surely, at last, a new age of Saumur is upon us!

“Romain Guiberteau’s hedonistic winemaking style is increasingly earning him a reputation as Rougeard for a new generation.” Jon Bonné

In the field, Guiberteau practices the type of ‘living soil’ viticulture that we have come to expect from France’s finest growers – no pesticides, no herbicides, no chemicals of any sort. Hand-harvesting is of course the norm here. This minimalist approach is carried through to the winemaking, with no yeast (or other additions) and no fining or filtration. 

The winemaking is based on enigmatic talent: Guiberteau is partly self-trained, combined with the guidance of his mentor Nady Foucault of Clos Rougeard. While one imagines this is the kind of visionary address where the work in progress may last a lifetime, the achievements over the last decade or so have already seen this Saumur Estate rise to become a Loire touchstone. The arrival of offsider Brendan Stater-West in 2011 (now a fine vigneron in his own right) clearly eased the weight off Guiberteau, who had previously managed all aspects of an increasingly respected Domaine tout seul. Now attracting a cult-like following, the partnership has led to a sharp spike in quality, and a winemaking program that is not only precise but also geared towards respecting the nuance of each wine and each terroir (of which there are many).

Domaine Guiberteau is simply one of the Loire Valley’s most sought after artisanal Domaines. The recent progression is vitally apparent in this grower’s reds, which have become more poised and refined with each vintage—pushing the boundaries of the appellation’s potential. A few years back, when we first read Rajat Parr’s thoughts on this producer, we initially raised an eyebrow. No longer. With every passing year, Parr’s words on Guiberteau’s reds take on renewed focus. On the other hand, few will need reminding that the whites are the bomb: layered, articulate Chenin Blancs of stunning tension and chiselled clarity.

Currently Available

Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Les Chapaudaises Rouge 2018 (1500ml)

Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Les Chapaudaises Rouge 2018 (1500ml)

100% Cabernet Franc. Les Chapaudaises is in Bizay terroir, in the small village of Épieds, within half a kilometre of Saumur’s prized hill of Brézé. It’s next to Guiberteau’s monopole Clos de Guichaux, on the same sandy tuffeau limestone. The vines are a mix of Chenin Blanc and old-vine Cabernet Franc. One hectare of the Chenin is leased to Romain’s right-hand man, Brendan Stater-West, with the remaining Chenin finding its way into the Saumur Blanc. But it’s the 1948-planted Cabernet Franc that is Guiberteau’s prize here. 

Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Les Chapaudaises Rouge 2018 (1500ml)
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“Romain Guiberteau’s white wines made him famous. When they hit the mainstream, they blew everyone’s minds with their power, energy, and sharpness. These wines are so potent and high energy as to require some time in bottle, so don’t open too early. The standout white is les Clos des Carmes. The reds are great, too. Some contend Romain Guiberteau is in fact a better red-wine maker, despite his white-wine fame.” Rajat Parr, The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste

“There is no perfect domaine... but when Romain gets it right he can, in fact, hit the bull's-eye. The white wines are pure, limpid, minerally and bracing, softening with time, but always showing a delicate Chenin ripeness.” Chris Kissack, thewinedoctor.com

“Amidst a renewed interest in chenin blanc, Guiberteau has become a cult star (complete with hashtag) for concentrated, tightly wound, dry chenins “of punk rock violence,” as his [US] importer describes them.” Meagan Krigbaum, PunchDrink.com

Country

France

Primary Region

Anjou-Saumur

People

Winemakers: Romain Guiberteau & Brendan Stater-West

Availability

National

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