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Domaine Filliatreau Saumur-Champigny 2019


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Sometimes good friends lose touch for a while. It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault, just time goes by and you realize you’ve not spoken in a couple years. Today we have the wine version of this common phenomenon. Domaine Filliatreau produces one of our very favorite, all purpose “bistro” styled Cabernet Franc in Saumur-Champigny, but somehow we’ve missed out on the past couple of vintages.

Well it’s back, and the 2019 vintage is the perfect way to get reacquainted. Why is it our favorite? Well it just so happens to be the original “bistro” wine, and it still does that style better than anyone. Two generations ago much of the Loire Valley vineyards were basically farms for large co-ops and negociants that produced lakes of cheap bubbles, white and rosé wines.

Filliatreau's history mirrors the region's. When Paul Filliatreau took over his father's estate in 1967 they sold the bulk of their fruit off and produced a small amount of mostly white and rosé for family and friends. At this time most of the Cabernet Franc wines were sturdy, rustic and tannic. They saw long macerations and aging in old (not necessarily clean) barrels. Paul decided to make a lighter, fresher version that was fermented and aged in tanks and was released on the younger side.

The result was a super fresh, versatile red that was perfect with all sorts of classic French dishes that you find in Parisian cafés. It caught on fast and is still a de-facto addition to any wine list at a decent joint in France.

In 1990 Paul’s son Frederik joined him and began converting the family’s vast holdings to organic farming. Today all of the domaine is fully organic and biodynamic principles are employed as well. This has only increased the quality of the wines, and while Filliatreau now produces a range of whites and reds, including some of the more age-worthy, complex wines that the region is now famous for (i.e. Rougeard). But their classic Saumur-Champigny rouge is still the standard bearer for all around terrific, everyday Cabernet Franc.

The 2019 has beautiful fruit and a touch of extra depth given the warm, dry vintage and the fact that the vines are now averaging over 40 years of age. But it’s still eminently drinkable. Silky and soft with classic notes of black cherries, green peppercorn and chalky, earthy minerals. It’s also barely budged in price over the last decade so it’s a terrific value.

  • Pick up in-store today at 2 New Montgomery St.
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Just two generations ago much of the Loire Valley was known for producing simple, country wines (wines for thirst!) that were consumed almost entirely in France.

Now, of course, it's a different story: Clos Rougeard has entered the wine firmament (it's chased, practically like DRC), and other producers like Joguet, Baudry, Guiberteau and Raffault, have become household(ish) names. The Cabernet Franc wines of Saumur, Chinon, and Bourgueil are now must-haves for all top restaurant lists.

Filliatreau's history mirrors the region's. When Paul Filliatreau took over his father's estate in 1967 they produced mostly white and rosé for Parisian cafés. He quickly switched the focus to making fresh reds from Cabernet Franc, which he sold mostly to... Parisian cafés!

His son, Frederick, joined him in 1990 and, along with those delicious light, bistro wines, introduced wines of deeper structure and greater finesse. He also put organic practices into effect in some of the family’s vineyards. It's like magic: apply the extra farming work that organics requires to vines entering maturity, throw in some of the best vintages in generations and presto! Wines of contemplation and age-ability are born.


  • Grape Variety

    Cabernet Franc

  • Vintage


  • Size


  • Farming Practice


  • Style

    Earthy , Elegant , Minerally

  • Sweetness


  • Body

    Light Bodied

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