Mikaël Bouges
Les Couilles d'Anes 2021

  • Region Touraine, Loire, France
  • Grapes Côt
  • Vineyard Organic
  • Cellar Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, minimal additional sulphites
  • ABV 12.26%
  • Size 750ml

Quantity

About the Wine

Mikaël's smallest cuvée of which only around 1000 or so bottles are made each year, depending on the yield of the vintage. 100% Côt from 35 year-old vines in a small parcel of silex and clay at around one third of a hectare. These flinty soils are also dotted with unusual black stones, the eponymous and charmingly-named 'Couilles d'Anes' - donkey balls, as the local vigneron colloquially refer to them. No-one can really explain their presence, but it is most likely an ancient alluvial spread from the historic path of the river Cher.

The grapes are destemmed, foot-crushed and then macerate for 10 days before being pressed off to old 500-litre barrels to rest for 18 months before bottling. A delightfully aromatic vintage, bright cherry and bramble fruits meld with a violet perfume in the glass. On the palate the wine brims with energy and life, there is a vivid, freshly-picked quality to the inky blackcurrant fruit, with the barrel notes more dialled-back and restrained. Our favourite version of this wine yet.

About Mikaël Bouges

Mikaël Bouges works over 8 hectares of land split into various parcels dotted around Faverolles-sur- Cher in Touraine. He learned to tend vines and make wine with his father who had already established the domaine as certified organic as far back as the early 90s, so a thoughtful approach in the vineyard and in the cellar has been with him from the start. The vines sit in the vicinity of the river Cher and as a result have soils of gravelly limestone, speckled with various alluvial deposits of quartz and silex left behind from the historical flow of the water over the centuries. His trademark style is to translate this mineral aspect into the wine - they clearly speak of this typically middle-Loire terroir. In the cellar the wines ferment spontaneously and are not filtered or fined, some with just a small amount of sulphur used only at bottling, some with none at all. We feel they can be very classical in their expression; clean, bright and with incredible purity. We love to pour them for those who are in some way dubious about this very logical way of working - Mikaël’s wines tend to put paid to the sceptics. Displaying an uncanny knack for the ancestral method, Mikaël produces a couple of immaculate pét-nats made with zero additions that number some of the more easygoing and immediate of his output. He also recently began to experiment with a no-sulphur Sauvignon Blanc cuvée, to much success. His other wines are made under the Touraine AOC and display a certain typicity. Those from the younger vines are made completely in tank and are ideal for the table; the older vines see an extended élevage in old barrels and invite deeper contemplation.

Find out more about Mikaël Bouges

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Electric Touraine pet nat from a producer with a deft hand for the style. A refreshing balance of zippy green apple and lemon citrus, opening to ripe pear and melon. The overall character is unmistakably Loire and makes for a note-perfect aperitif. Find out more.

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Simple, thirst-quenching rosé made from the same base wine as his La Bulle pet-nat, a direct press of Gamay and Côt. It's a straightforward vinification, similarly completed in steel only and then bottled young. The style is less fruit-forward, more lean and savoury - little red fruits sit below a more prominent saline minerality. With a good chill this is one of those no-brainer pours for those moments when more is more. Find out more.

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Inky Malbec (the eponymous Côt) that is much brighter and crunchier than most would expect of the grape. As always with Mikaël's wines, there is a noticeable mineral imprint; that hard-to-define aspect of wet stones or patio paving following rain on a hot day. Find out more.

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Like all of Mikaël's wines from the dry 2022 vintage, there is a chiselled structure and profound minerality, the vines having reached deep down to the limestone bedrock for nutrients. White peach and spices with taut acidity and a delicate, honeyed quality, neatly balanced out with a pronounced salty minerals. A wine of precision and poise. Find out more.

  • Region Touraine, Loire, France
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