Amirault Vignerons, Le Vau Renou, Loire, 2017
Family run for 180 years, Xavier and Agnès Amirault are the latest generation to biodynamically farm 37 ha across 53 parcels in Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil on the border of the Anjou and Touraine regions. The vineyards face south on gentle slopes and are made up of gravel, sand and clay over limestone. Cabernet Franc, locally known as ‘Breton’ is the dominant variety and in the winery Xavier adopts a pragmatic approach using both cement tanks and open top wooden casks for fermenting and both tanks and demi-muids for ageing. The emphasis here is firmly on elegance and finesse and in spite of their drinkability when young, they also age tremendously well.