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Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Bourgueil, potentially captivating red wines made on the north bank of the Loire in the west of the touraine district. The climate here is particularly gentle and rainfall is low, as in much of anjou to the immediate west. Of the 1,300 ha/3,200 acres of vineyard well over half are on the south-facing slopes of limestone and gravel which lead west from St-Patrice almost on the river to St-Nicolas (see below), where fewer than a third of the vineyard is on the slopes

The cabernet franc grape is mainly responsible for these medium-bodied wines, which are typically marked by a more powerful aroma (reminding some of raspberries, others of pencil shavings) and slightly more noticeable tannins than the wines of chinon to the south. As in Chinon, the proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon allowed in the wine has been reduced from 25 to 10% of the blend. Bourgueil can be aged for five or many more years in really successful, fully ripe vintages while St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, produced on about 900 ha of often lighter soils in the west of the region, is generally a lighter, earlier maturing wine. These fragrant wines are extremely popular in Paris and northern France but have yet to be discovered by most non-French wine lovers.