More sublime Cabernet Franc from this prodigious young Loire vigneron. The vines in the Palennes vineyard are well-established (around 70 years old) and the fruit is of excellent quality. Here the grapes go through vinification as a mixture of both destemmed and whole bunches - this technique results in an impressively fine tannic structure once the wine is complete, as the contact between the juice and the stalks and stems of the grapes is carefully managed. There is always great depth to Saint-Lô's Cabernet Franc; the dark cherry fruit, bitter dark chocolate and the hallmark herbaceous lift of the varietal marry together perfectly. The wine is glossy and plush.
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.