In troglodyte caves deep in Berrie, near Saumur François Saint-Lô runs the Rue Des Belles Caves. Working in restaurants & wine bars he then dived headlong into winemaking, learning with producers like Olivier Cousin & Eric Dubois... Eventually he bought his own place near Berrie, approximately 25km south of Saumur, it was basically an ancient ruin, but has previously been used for wine production and since 2012 is being restored with the help of friends. Like his mentors François prefers to work with horses in the vineyards and all other work is done by hand. In the cellar he & the team use old barrels, fibreglass and a hundred year-old press that was there when he took over the place.
We got very excited when we first tried this wine; in our opinion the finest he's produced! It's no doubt down to it coming from some of his oldest vines, in this case 80 year-old Cabernet Franc - but the process is probably his most refined. The grapes are macerated whole bunch then pressed off to 400-litre barrels where the wine is left to develop over two and a half years, before resting in bottle for a year and a half before release. Patience is rewarded in a deep, glossy wine of extraordinary texture and finesse. As well as the sweet charred green pepper and black cherry aromas something floral and violet is coming through too. Exceptional!
*Please note this listing is for the magnum format!