Hello friends. As we expand our international offers at Full Pull, we’re always in search of the best bang for your buck. Yes, we all know tales of hundred thousand dollar bottles of 50 year old Cheval-Blanc and Thomas Jefferson’s 1787 Chateau Margaux, but unless you are all living drastically different lives than team Full Pull, those wines are not an option for a random Tuesday night.
So, we explore the world for wines that work. We’ve recently dabbled in the alpine freshness of Savoie, the rhone-esque reds from Languedoc, and the exceptionally funky wines from Jura—and today’s offer is from the Loire Valley. Bottles from the Loire are truly some of the great values in wine, from white to red and everything in between. Rarely will you be steered wrong, when perusing a restaurant wine list, by choosing a Vouvray, Quincy, Bourgueil, or a Chinon.
The wines of Charles Joguet are a fine introduction to Chinon (see map; we’re in region #22). Joguet took control of the family vineyards in 1957, and soon stopped the practice of selling to negociants, instead choosing to vinify different pieces of the family terroir separately and bottling a series of single-vineyard Chinons. Fifty-five years later, Charles is mostly retired (he stopped in 1997 after working forty vintages), but his vision continues.
Today we have a white, rosé, and red to offer, showing a full spectrum of the low-price, high-caliber wines Joguet provides. Joguet’s wines are divided into two lines: those meant for aging and the “precocious cuvées.” The three we are offering are all from the precocious line, coming from the younger vines of the vineyard and meant to be consumed young. Of course “younger” is relative: average vine age is between 20-30 years for all three of these wines.
And a quick note: While the reds from Joguet usually arrive to Seattle in some quantity, their white and rosé counterparts are scarce. That’s why we haven’t have a Joguet offer in over five years, and have never offered a white or rosé. These wines, the reds included, get gobbled up before we have the chance. Knowing this, we pre-purchased the blanc and the rosé for our list because they are that good . And good thing, because they are now sold out throughout the rest of Seattle. Given this, there will probably be no reorder potential.
2013 Charles Joguet Touraine Blanc Clos de la Plante Martin
Oh Chenin Blanc. According to certain Full Pull’s employees’ personal tastes, this is one of (if not the) greatest white grapes there is. Chenin can be enjoyed young or extensively aged, and everything in between. It’s a wildly versatile wine—perfect from dry to sweet, and divine when made sparkling. This grape’s truest form might just come from the Loire Valley. Joguet’s vineyards are located on the Vienne River, right on the edge of Chinon AOC and is full of clay and limestone soils. Joguet uses slow, cold fermentations to bring out the aromas and structure that make Chenin Blanc so delightful, and ferment on the lees with regular stirring to create texture.
This Chenin opens with a nose full of salinity, lemon juice, and tart green apple. On the palate, citrus and tart fruit flavors follow, with limestone minerality and zippy acid. Four years after vintage, and this white wine is still cruising along, as lively as any younger counterpart. The finish is clean. This is an ideal summer wine—its lemon and acidity asking to be paired with oysters, crab, and other seafood on a patio somewhere.
2016 Charles Joguet Chinon Rose
Seattle’s summer gives the perfect opportunity for a second wave of rosé buying. In the rest of the United States, summer can hit as early as May. Those of us in the Pacific Northwest know better than to expect true summer until after July 4th.
While deep down we know this, those of us who love the pink stuff gobble up pre-orders and releases of the rosé we love the minute they come out—which can now be as early as January or February. Then we try to wait. We try to wait for sunshine and 9:30 PM sunsets and all the magical things that make Seattle summer unbeatable. By the time a few months have gone by, and it’s still cold and rainy, we can’t help ourselves. We drink the rosé. When July hits and it’s actually summer in Seattle, we’re almost done with the rosé we diligently bought six months ago. And we need more. The Joguet rosé is the perfect solution—this mineral driven rose with signature Loire greenies is the perfect late summer rosé. It has the acidity for a summer afternoon or a feast, with unusual complexity that makes it delightful for the last warm days of September and October.
100% Cabernet Franc, this rosé opens with bright minerality and just a touch of that lovely funk that comes with Chinon. The palate is racy, full of fresh wild strawberries, orangey citrus, and fresh, green herbaceous notes of parsley and sage. This is truly an ideal end of summer BBQ wine or, if it lasts, one for the Thanksgiving table.
Vinous (Josh Raynolds): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 91pts.”
2014 Charles Joguet Chinon Les Petites Roches
Made from 35 year old vines, this cuveé aims to highlight the harmony of Chinon and the different terroirs that can exist. Specific vines are selected for density, complexity, and what they can impart on the wine.
This wine is all Chinon—you can tell from the first sniff. The nose is full of cassis and dark fruit, fresh and dried herbs, floral fresh flowers, and funky, medicinal Italian amaro. The palate is equally herbaceous and fruity, with spicy poblano qualities, lots of earth, and fresh raspberries and blackberries. It’s surprisingly smooth, with a lingering, softly-textured finish. We tried a number of Joguet’s Cabernet Franc offerings and this was a real stand out for the price.
Wine Spectator (James Molesworth): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 91pts.”
Please limit order requests to 4 bottles of white, 6 bottles of rose, and 12 bottles of red, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The white and pink are already in the warehouse; the red should arrive in a week or two, at which point all will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.