Good Day Cru,

The professor sent me a breathless email late last summer. He had just purchased one of the top domaines in the Loire out of receivorship and along with it, ahem, 30 years of inventory.

Fred Brochet is the professor, and the domaine now under his guidance is that of Pierre-Jacques Druet in Bourgueil. Many of you might not even recognize the appellation name Bourgueil, but let's just say this: Druet is to Bourgueil (pronounced Bore-goy, loosely) as Petrus is to Pomerol, as Gaja is to Barbaresco, or as DRC is to Burgundy.

Pierre-Jacques, although evidently a challenged businessman, was a gifted winemaker with extraordinary vineyards. Beginning in 1980 he single-handedly revitalized the appellation through the technique of long maceration, followed by aging in old barrels (sometimes for up to 10 years), and over the decades created long-living, wonderfully complex wines from Cabernet Franc.

I remember having a Druet wine once with the winemaker Philippe Poniatowski in Vouvray. This was probably 15 years ago and the wine was already 10 years old, but still vibrant, complex and wonderfully rich. We commented to each other that it was just like drinking old Bordeaux--but probably far less expensive!

So, following the professor's email, I dutifully showed up last September to taste some of these fine old reds from Druet. I was greeted with a spreadsheet with vintages across the top beginning with 1983 and ending in 2010. The 2011s onward were still in tank or barrel. (!) Over the next few hours I tried about 40 wines and got a great sense of a very unique winemaking style, that of long aging in "bulk"--unbottled, that is. For instance, the 2009 Grand Mont that knocked my socks off, had just been bottled in 2015!

Pierre-Jacques farmed four separate vineyard parcels in Bourgueil. For our purposes today, I'm focusing on one called Grand Mont, and I'd like to offer you a 3-pack vertical of this vineyard from the vintages 2000, 2002, and 2009. The wines are all in tip-top shape, having been resting quietly in Druet's cellar in Benais, unmoved until they were prepared for our order. That's pretty cool.

Grand Mont is one of the highest points in the appellation and features a unique combination of clay and chalk in the soil. With the long aging in barrel I find the wines to be at once very solid, but also quite feminine and balanced.

You can imagine that when Fred announced his intention to sell off the older vintages of stock to help pay for the purchase, it was a feeding frenzy in France--especially among restaurants and cavistes. I got my reservation in early however and snagged 60 bottles of each of these vintages. Here are my thoughts:

2000--Super long in the mouth with fine tannin, forest floor, good dried fruit, dried herbs, sandalwood, leather and black pepper. Silky and sweet on the lips.

2002--Drinks like old Burgundy, lower in alcohol, color not as dense, but finely-layered and complex. Begins to reward after 15 minutes. Fine acidity and structure.

2009--The best of the lot, so much fruit still on the nose, big rose petal aromas, wet rocks, minerals, big richness and power. Could go another decade or more?

Okay, where's the rub you may be asking? Well, there is NO rub. I'm NOT offering these for $100 bottle, although one could argue that it could be worth it. Nope, just $20/bottle for the 3-pack, actually a bit less for a net of $59. There are just 60 3-packs available. That's all folks.

Druet Bourgueil Grand Mont Vertical 2000, 2002, 2009 Three-pack, $59

To order please simply reply to this email. I don't have a webpage on this one because they asked me not to make it public (ooooh, mysterious...). Hence, replying directly is your only option this week--"3-pack", "Sixer", or "Case". I'll take orders first come, first served, with a four 3-pack limit. A solid case of these beauties would look pretty good in any cellar.



Road Cru Wine Imports
339 NW Broadway Ave.
Portland, OR 97209
T: (503) 226-9463

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