A couple times a year I get really excited about an unknown, hard to find, but well priced wine. It’s difficult to extract these sort of wines from the morass of the wine industry, but this is brilliant Anjou is one of them.
Les Grange aux Belles is a new winery which had its first vintage in 2008. A couple of young winemakers – Houtin & Julien Bresteau – head up this ‘naturalist’ operation. They make a number of cuvees, but the “53” is particularly interesting. It is made with Cabernet Franc from a vineyard planted in 1953 with massale selected vines and is fermented in unlined concrete vats without the addition of sulphur.
There is incredible purity to this wine, even as it is quite rich and fruity. It doesn’t have all the perfections of ‘great’ wine – perfect structure, incredibly long finish, etc. But it is utterly delicious, fantastic with food, and so purely fruited so as to provide an entirely distinct expression of Cabernet Franc from the Anjou. I personally absolutely love this wine and it is near impossible to beat at the price. This is highly worthy of your efforts to seek out and my hope is an adventurous importer will make this more widely available across the U.S. and Canada.
I’d also note that I’ve had a number of Garagiste’s ‘great wine discoveries’ and not all live up to the rhapsodizing. This, however, is the real deal.
Excellent and Highly Recommended Value
$16.90 at Garagiste