Image credit: Wine Folly

Beneath the limestone-laden vineyards of the Loire Valley in France there are caves are stippled throughout the countryside — wine caves, yes, but with a history longer than you might expect.

In Saumur, an appellation of the Loire Valley, many of these present-day wine caves were formerly home to troglodytes à Saumur, a bygone cave-dwelling civilization with evidence dating back as far as the Merovingian period, or 5th century.

Nearly 1,000 miles of caves have been discovered in the area, chronicling a world where farmers, fishers, mushroom foragers — and yes, winemakers, lived and worked alongside one another for centuries.

Many caves in Saumur are still in use as vintner cooperatives, for fungiculture, and are also open to the public as cave touristique.

[The middle Loire] is where Chenin Blanc reaches its zenith (mind-blowingly awesome), where sparkling wines rule, and where Cabernet Franc takes center stage.

Wine Folly

In these clandestine caves, Annette Peters, owner of Domaines & Appellations Imports — Bourget’s Importing arm — developed the formula for a custom cuveé with Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and just a bit of Cab Franc. With specificity of the precise balance, acidity, and long maturation on the lees (15-18 months), we call this Cremant de Loire 49M.

The culmination is a superb crémant de Loire with long-lasting, superfine bubbles — its estimated that 49 million (49M) tiny bubbles will be released from each bottle, a result of the methode traditionelle and long maturation.

The culmination is a superb crémant de Loire with long-lasting, superfine bubbles — its estimated that 49 million (49M) tiny bubbles will be released from each bottle, a result of the particular formula for secondary fermentation and long maturation.

[The middle Loire] is where Chenin Blanc reaches its zenith (mind-blowingly awesome), where sparkling wines rule, and where Cabernet Franc takes center stage.

Wine Folly

Our first release was Cremant de Loire 49M Brut, a blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and 2-3% Cabernet Franc.

Just this spring Cremant de Loire 49M Rosé joined the coterie, produced with 100% Cabernet Franc.

Cabernet Franc shines in this part of the world, making red wines, rosé and sparkling wine. The red fruits remind us of our favorite summer berries but the finish is dry, with persistent bubbles.  Our producer is expert at sparkling wine and who small producers turn to when they need their own base wines turned into bubble magic.

Annette Peters

Portfolio Manger, Bourget Imports

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