It’s almost Fall – don’t hate me for saying it, but its true! While you may not be excited for that from a weather perspective, you should most definitely be excited based on the fact that many exciting new wine releases are on their way.
Today, I am focusing on pre-arrival offerings from two personal favorite wineries of mine, Clos Rougeard and Cappellano.
Want what may be the best expressions of Cabernet Franc in the world – then please read about Clos Rougeard.
Barolo freak? Then Cappellano is one of the rarest, and most outstanding producers out there. My visit with Augusto Cappellano in June was really inspirational and their ’05 Barolo’s are truly stunning. They also happen to have invented the category of Barolo Chinato, and if there is anything better to drink alongside of dark chocolate then I haven’t found it!
Both these wineries are very, very small and the offerings are very limited. The only way to assure yourself of landing a few bottles is to pre-order yours today!
As always, I am here for questions, or just to wax poetic for a few minutes about these!
CLOS ROUGEARD – A LESSON IN THE LOIRE
Talk about devotion, you should come across the average Loire Valley Cabernet Franc fan!
What created these fanatics?
Say you love aromatic, terroir driven red wines with great complexity. Then you try a Cabernet Franc from the appellation of Chinon, Saumur Champigny, or Bourgueil. Now your hooked – not only do the wines taste great and have amazing complexity, but they are a fraction of the price compared to the other “best” in its category from around France. What do the greatest Grand Cru’s of Burgundy cost? How about the new releases of First Growth Bordeaux? Even at the highest level, like the wines you will see today, it is still within many’ consumers budget to grab a bottle or two for a special occasion. On the other hand, I don’t know how many will be dropping the $12,000 needed for a case of the ’09 Chateau Latour on futures!
So now that I may have peaked the interest of those that are just learning, it’s time to tell those that already abide that the ’06 vintage wines from Clos Rougeard are on their way!
This legendary estate sits in the appellation of Saumur-Champigny and is owned by the Foucault brothers who took over the family’s 10 hectares of vineyards, and have helped give the winery its cult status.
Four wines are produced at Clos Rougeard. A magnificent white wine made from Chenin Blanc and three incredible examples of Cabernet Franc, two from single vineyards.
For the first time, all four wines are being offered to Perman Wine customers. These are very limited and very worth the splurge. Secure your order today!
THESE WINES WILL ARRIVE IN THE BEGINNING OF OCTOBER!
2006 CLOS ROUGEARD SAUMUR “BRÉZÉ ” BLANC
Am I ever excited to be offered this very rare white wine from Clos Rougeard.
Chenin Blanc is one of the most interesting and seemingly least talked about white wine varietals in the world. The Foucault’s version is inspirational.
While many know Saumur for the sparkling wine produced from the region, north and east of the village of Brézé are vineyards capable of producing some of the finest Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley.
Clos Rougeard owns a one-hectare parcel of land on this hillside and produces tiny quantities of this white wine from it. There are no stainless steel tanks at this producer, only oak is used in the fermentation and aging.
The aromas and flavors in this wine are intense and spellbinding. Dried orchard and stone fruits combine with herbs, mineral and sweet spices. Mouth coating richness, yet vibrant acidity will allow this to develop slowly over time. There are stories of this wine lasting for decades, yet I would say you can try now with decanting or hold through 2025+.
$66.99 BTL. / $803.88 CASE – ONLY 12 BOTTLES ALLOCATED TO ILLINOIS
2006 CLOS ROUGEARD SAUMUR-CHAMPIGNY “LE CLOS”
Of the three Clos Rougeard reds, this is the most accessible in its youth. This comes from 25 year-old vines from a few different vineyards. The wine is fermented and aged in old Bordeaux barrels for two years.
The 2006 vintage of “Le Clos” is very accessible in its youth, but will also hold well. Very aromatic, look for a combination of red and dark fruits on the nose, hints of sandalwood, mineral and herbs. Very seductive and silky on the long, fresh finish.
Decanting is encouraged if drinking now. This will probably show its best from 2012-2016.
$52.99 BTL. / $635.88 CASE – 48 BOTTLES ALLOCATED TO ILLINOIS
2006 CLOS ROUGEARD SAUMUR-CHAMPIGNY “POYEUX”
Poyeux is a three-hectare vineyard with 40-60 year-old vines, which are low yielding. The wine is fermented in 50% new Allier barrels and then the other half in one year barrels.
A good deal of sand in the soil of “Poyeux” gives this wine its aromatic character, and this is a little more structured then “Le Clos, ” but not as hard in its youth as “Le Bourg. ” This should be laid down, and you can drink from 2013-2020+. An outstanding wine.
$66.99 BTL. / $803.88 CASE – 48 BOTTLES ALLOCATED TO ILLINOIS
2006 CLOS ROUGEARD SAUMUR-CHAMPIGNY “LE BOURG”
From a one-hectare parcel of 80+ year-old vines, that was cropped at less than most Grand Cru Burgundy. Because of the incredible fruit, the wine is fermented in 100% Allier oak, each year from one specific cooper. It is aged in those barrels for 30 months.
Year in and year out one of the most complex bottles of Cabernet Franc known to man. A wine meant for the cellar. I would suggest drinking this from 2016-2025+.
$98.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES ALLOCATED TO ILLINOIS
CAPPELLANO – A BAROLO LEGEND FINALLY COMES TO THE MIDWEST
There are few more historic names in Piedmont than Giuseppe Cappellano. Located in the commune of Serralunga d’Alba, this is an estate that very few wine consumers in the United States have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
Cappellano is a tiny producer. The winery itself is not too much bigger than my store, and many of you know how small that is! The small amount of wine that use to come to the U.S. mainly stayed in California as it was imported by Rare Wine Company. Today, I am pleased to announce that it is being distributed by Louis Dressner Imports and this means more markets will have a chance at a small allocation.
Before we get to the goods it is important to note a few things about the history. The winery was founded in 1870 by Filippo Cappellano. He had four children, two sons and two daughters. His son Giovanni was put in charge of the estate at age 19 when Filippo passed away. Giovanni was prominent in expanding the winery and its clients as they also owned two hotels, one in Alba and one in Serralunga. This was probably the first promotion of tourism in the region.
Giovanni passed away from a tropical disease that he got in Tunisia while looking for phylloxera-resistant vines. His brother, and the wineries namesake Dottor Giuseppe Cappellano took over after acquiring his degree in pharmacy. The estate continued to grow, and Cappellano became the most important grape purchaser in Piedmont not only for the family’s estate but for other estates including Gancia. There is no doubt that Giuseppe Cappellano knew the vineyards of Barolo like the back of his hand.
Teobaldo Cappellano was Giuseppe’s son, and continued the legendary name, and expanded on it. He was a known as an honest, passionate producer that everyone had great respect for. He sadly passed away in February, 2009.
His son, Augusto is in charge of the winery today, and I met with him on my trip in June. The famed Gabutti vineyard is the source of the two Barolo’s produced at Cappellano, not to mention the Dolcetto. The name Gabutti does not appear on either Barolo as Teobaldo was upset with the expansion of the vineyard, as he felt the areas incorporated were of inferior quality.
One can also not fail to mention Barolo Chinato when talking about Cappellano. Never heard of Chinato? Start with Barolo and infuse a secretive blend of quinine bark, wormwood, clove, cinnamon, cane sugar, and other herbs and you have what for generations has been an important part of life in the region. It is Giuseppe Cappellano that invented the category, and his background in pharmacy gave him a heads up on others who followed.
These are super limited and highly recommended for Piedmont fans and Barolo enthusiasts! THESE
WINES SHOULD ARRIVE WITHIN A MONTH.
2007 GIUSEPPE CAPPELLANO DOLCETTO D’ALBA “GABUTTI”
Here is a way to enjoy a Cappellano wine on a daily basis. Dolcetto is a grape of the table, as it is a natural match to so many of the classic dishes of Piedmont.
Renatto Ratti declared the Gabutti vineyard to be of first growth quality in his famous classification of the vineyards of the region.
The richness of 2007 comes across in this beautiful expression of Dolcetto.
Classic spices of licorice, herbs and dark fruit are present on the nose and palate. Structured, yet elegant, with balanced acidity. A versatile wine that makes me crave carne cruda!
$24.99 BTL. / $299.88 CASE
2005 GIUSEPPE CAPPELLANO BAROLO “RUPESTRIS”
The best vineyards of Serralunga are on the Western slope. In the midsection of this slope are the great names of Gabutti, Parafada, Lazzarito, Margheria, and Vigna Rionda, among others.
Gabutti is a very small vineyard, less than eight hectares, that faces south to southwest. There are only four producers in the vineyard. Cappellano owns the sweet spot, and for Rupestris, two-thirds of what goes into this wine comes from vines planted in the 1940’s on grafted rootstock.
The ’05 is a really classic style with intense fruit, spice, and structure. Personally I can enjoy Barolo young and old, so I say decant this for an hour to enjoy now, but it certainly will age through 2020.
$78.99 BTL. / $947.88 CASE
$194.99 PER MAGNUM
2005 GIUSEPPE CAPPELLANO BAROLO “PIÈ FRANCO”
One parcel of Cappellano’s vineyards were planted on original rootstock with the Michet clone in 1989. It is the grapes from these vines that make up the wine called “Piè Franco.”
It was truly a unique experience to taste this wine alongside “Rupestris” from grafted vines. I would have to taste this dozens of times alongside one another to declare a favorite, but one can clearly taste the extra level of elegance with the “Piè Franco.” The vines are younger, but Augusto told us that the yields are naturally lower with this wine.
This is made in miniscule amounts, and is one of the most difficult Barolo’s to source. It is a must buy for any serious Barolo fan. Drink now with decanting through 2025+.
$124.99 BTL. / $1499.88 CASE
$283.99 PER MAGNUM
GIUSEPPE CAPPELLANO BAROLO CHINATO
The definitive example of Chinato and a must try for any adventurous wine lover.
For years this was a tonic for a large list of ailments. So not only are you getting one of the most delicious adult beverages on the planet but you can use it for medicinal purposes too!
This is a small price to pay for your health, but more importantly, you will not find a better match with dark chocolate. I must have drank four glasses of this at the winery while snacking on some dark chocolate that Augusto had put out for us.
You are either going to be into this or not, but if your in, you’re really in! Every wine household in the world should have at least one bottle.
$81.99 BTL. / $983.88 CASE