2015 Château du Hureau "Tuffe" Saumur-Champigny SKU #1387067

Price: $15.99

JG 92
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

The Château du Hureau is located in the small town of Dampierre-sur-Loire, about four miles east of Saumur and 15 miles west of Chinon. The Château itself is an impressive sight, with its 18th-century Mansard roof and octagonal tower topped by a boar-headed weathercock, from which the domaine takes its name—a hureau is an old, solitary wild boar. Behind the Château sits the winery, which was carved out of the limestone cliffs in the 13th century and overlooks the Loire river. For wine lovers, the cave is even more impressive than the Château, with numerous paths leading to carved out caverns housing stainless steel vinification equipment and lines of barrels. It reminds one of being in a James Bond movie! Seventeen hectares (42 acres) including 21 separate vineyard plots are spread around the towns of Dampierre-sur-Loire, Souzay, Champigny and Saumur and are planted with Cabernet Franc. What links all of the plots is "tuffeau" (tufa/limestone), a kind of soft chalk from the Cretaceous period (146 to 65 million years ago). In Latin "creta" means chalk. The underlying tuffeau is the defining factor in Saumur-Champigny's distinctive quality, and it also provides the name for this beautiful red.

Staff Reviews

  • Steve Bearden
    By: Steve Bearden
    K&L Staff Member
    This has aromas of violets, soil and smoke along with rich flavors of herb tinged black raspberries in the chewy middle. The wine is bold and wonderfully balanced with ripe tannins holding the finish.
  • William Beare
    By: William Beare
    K&L Staff Member
    This is a beautifully brawny and bold Cab Franc. Strength and grace intermingle well in the world of Loire Valley Cabernet Franc, and this is no exception. The nose is an intense experience, bunches of earthy flowers give a rich perfume, followed up with a slow burning, peppery palate, and finished off with a sharp dose of the limestone minerality that gives the "Tuffe" its name.
  • Kaj Stromer
    By: Kaj Stromer
    K&L Staff Member
    If you haven't been initiated into the cult of Cabernet Franc from the central Loire, then this is the wine to get you started. For a mere $16 you get a world-class wine that exhibits all the best characteristics at a ridiculously low price. Ancient sedimentary limestone provides the ideal foundation for growing Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. The “Tuffe” bottling is the perfect way to initiate yourself into the realm of these sublime wines. It possesses all the tell-tale traits of tobacco, red fruits, and just a hint of French funk. It really hits all the high marks for classic Cabernet Franc.
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    K&L Staff Member
    My visit to Saumur-Champigny a couple of years ago was one of the highlights of my trip through the Loire Valley. The impressive chalky stone that makes up the cliffs and vineyards in the region is knows as tuffeau. This bottling from Chateau du Hureau reins as one of the most consistent and impressive wines from this region. Planted over a multitude of parcels over the tuffeau, it captures the essence of that black brambly black cherry and tapenade quality that makes Cabernet Franc from this region so engaging. The chalky dust seems to rise up through the roots of the vine, into the grapes and finally from your glass with a light dusting of minerality in each whiff. An easy qualifier as my go-to weeknight wine, this pairs handsomely with a range of poultry, pork and lamb dishes. Don't be afraid to lose a bottle or two in your cellar or locker though, it will surely delight for many years to come.
  • Will Blakely
    By: Will Blakely
    K&L Staff Member
    A consummate case for the influence of terroir on wine, this exudes minerals and dense earth. On the nose, a noticeable but pleasant brett gives way to ripe raspberries and dark cherries. Smoke, mocha and peppery earth remain present throughout, but are complimented beautifully by youthful acid. With about 30 minutes of air, the floral tones and bright fruit intensify, while the brett fades into the background, providing just enough gamey character to keep things interesting. It has grown exceedingly difficult to find such serious, complex wine at this price point, so I am always pleased to find bottles like this.
  • Alex Schroeder
    By: Alex Schroeder
    K&L Staff Member
    The opulence of the 2015 vintage in France is on full display in this seriously impressive Loire Cab Franc. It has a beautiful perfume of stewed bell peppers and violets with undertones of mocha. On the palate, rich red currant/blackberry fruit takes center stage with hints of mint and pepper give overall great lift. The texture is utterly drinkable with ripe chewy tannins and good balancing acidity. Incredible bottle of wine for the sub-$20 category.
  • Chris DePaoli
    By: Chris DePaoli
    K&L Staff Member
    This is a fantastic Cabernet Franc from a great region in the Loire Valley that's begging to be discovered by the masses. Easy to drink, ready to go, and has a great mouth watering acidity to match the subtle spice and black fruit driving the palate forward. The stainless steel fermentation shows up in a super clean and refined finish that readies the next sip with the end of the last.


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