Talking about Clos Rougeard is a rather complex theoretical exercise since this domaine has tied its fame to the brothers Charly (Jean-Louis) and Nady (Bernard) Foucault. Today, however, after the disappearance of Charly in 2015, the domaine was taken over by Martin Bouygues, former owner of Château Montrose. The news we have about this new property, although it seems to point out that it is carrying on the same model of viticulture of the previous owners, are now too scarce to assess how this new project will evolve.
Having said this, the Clos Rougeard is first of all a domaine in which 8 generations of the Foucault family have succeeded, passing on from father to son an idea of viticulture that has never been compromised with chemical or technical shortcuts, with the sole purpose of carrying in the bottle the “truth” of a terroir. Speaking of terroir, we are in the central-western Loire, in the Saumurois and, more precisely, in Saumur-Champigny, an enclave where, in spite of the rather high latitudes, the climate is little rainy and rather warm (Champigny comes from “campus ignis” = field of fire). Here the Cabernet Franc is the preferred grape variety and, always here, the Foucault have cultivated it following a radical naturalist philosophy that has never failed (even when it was a fashion its exact opposite), being able to count on about 11 hectares of vineyards (divided into 20 different parcels) many of which are over 100 years old and ungrafted. Vineyards so well suited also required a deep respect in the cellar where Charly and Nady, as true artisans able to do a little everything, used indigenous yeast and long macerations, very little dynamization of musts and wines and no interventionism. The long aging in barrique took place in a cave whose conditions of humidity and temperature were recognized by the Foucalult themselves as one of the decisive factors of the quality of their wines, and were followed by the bottling performed without collating or filtration.
With this recipe, from a 2-hectare vineyard, was also made this Saumur-Champigny 2010, a wine that boasts an intense ruby color with a garnet edge, with an olfactory fan that opens with notes of wild blackberry, cooked plum, nutmeg and pot-pourri, followed by tomato concentrate, eucalyptus, green branch of cinchona and dark chocolate, with concluding echoes of dark tobacco, goudron, vanilla and graphite. The palate, despite its evident softness, density and texture, is never heavy or fatiguing thanks to the cleanliness and elegance of tannins, and an excellent balsamic component; all enriched by the return of overripe red fruit and spices that accompany the sip until an endless closure.
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