Text Size:-+

2005 Domaine de Chateau Gaillard Saumur, Loire Valley, France

saumur_gaillard.jpgThe Loire Valley is perhaps one of the most underrated and unexplored (by most Americans) wine producing regions in France. So often eclipsed by the bombast of Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhone, if it is known at all, the Loire tends to be known for its famous Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre. Yet the region, which is the largest white wine producing region in France, and the third largest winegrowing appellation (AOC) in the country, also produces many excellent red wines, chiefly from Cabernet Franc.

The most dominating feature of the Loire Valley must be the river itself, France's longest and the last major river in Europe to remain un-dammed. The river cuts deep through dozens of different geologies spanning millions of years, from limestone and travertine to schist and granite, giving rise to many varied growing regions that spread outwards from the backbone of the river like shelf mushrooms on a tree.

About halfway along the Loire's meandering march to the sea lies the town of Saumur, which lends its name to the large AOC appellation that spreads southwards from the town away from the river. The town (and indeed, many of its wineries) is build atop what is known locally as tuffeau, a calcareous rock similar to limestone (but more porous) which provides excellent drainage for vines and excellent caves which the locals use for storing their wine, much of which is a sparkling wine made from Chenin Blanc that requires extended bottle aging similar to Champagne.

One of the other salient features of modern Loire winegrowing involves the unusually high proportion of winemakers using organic and biodynamic winegrowing methods. And one of the two men chiefly responsible for that was a man named Francois Bouchet, who up until his recent death was France's leading Biodynamic viticulture and winemaking consultant. Bouchet, who wrote what many consider to be the first real how-to guide to Biodynamic winemaking, consulted for biodynamic wineries all over Europe as well as some of the top producers in France, such as Domaine Leflaive, Domaine Leroy, and Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. When he wasn't flying about helping winemakers remember how many times to stir their silica solution in each direction, he was at home making wine with his son Mathieu at their tiny Domaine de Chateau Gaillard.

The estate consists of only about 12.5 acres of vines, which are farmed, as one might imagine, according to the strictest principles of Biodynamics, which involve, among other things, the complete absence of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or additives of any kind. The estate's vines, which are some of the oldest in the region (some more than 80 years old) produce naturally low yields, which means that the estate produces only about 2000 cases of wine each year, only about 100 of which make it into the United States.

Mathieu Bouchet continues to run the estate just as it always has been. According to the dictates of Biodynamics, the wines are never racked, fined, or filtered before they are bottled. Bouchet continues to age the wines for several years only in large neutral oak casks, resulting in very little oak influence in the wines.

Tasting Notes:
Medium to dark purple in the glass, this wine resembles many red wines just before they are bottled - deep and shining with grapey color. The nose carries a deep aroma of what might best be described as: mud. Wet, wet earth combined with hazelnuts. In the mouth it is bright, tight, and tart, with excellent acidity and a juicy cassis and sour cherry fruit that is married to a drying-chalkboard flavor which lasts long into a finish. This is not a deep, nor a complex wine, but it is no simpleton. Like many of its fellows in the Loire, it is a working-class wine with no pretentions at anything more - a fine dinner companion.

Food Pairing:
This versatile wine will go with a lot of things, though because of its dry, tanginess I don't suggest it be served with anything spicy. Salty or sweet would be better, and I suggest salty. It might be a beautiful match for this spice rubbed quail.

Overall Score: 8.5

How Much?: $19

This wine is available for purchase on the internet. It is imported by Weygandt and Metzler.

Comments (58)

Rajiv A wrote:
04.02.08 at 11:28 PM

Alder - what do you think of this wine's aging potential? Of other wines from Saumur?

I ask because the wine I reviewed was a wonderfully aged St.-Nicholas-de-Bourgeil from 1996, and the nose had about equal parts fruit and earth/veggies/other non-fruit complexity. I greatly enjoyed it and I'm wondering whether that wine (Joel Taluau) was the exception rather than the rule, in terms of improving with age. The 2005 vintage of the same wine sells for $16. the '96 for $35.

Also, is the absence of cab franc greenness typical of 2005 in the Loire?

04.03.08 at 6:51 AM

Crazy, one of the two Cab Francs I reviewed for WBW was the 2004 Gaillard, which I thought phenomenal.

Rajiv, 2005 was a riper vintage than most and I believe that many of the wines are indeed less vegetal than in other vintages. As for ageability, it depends on the producer but many can age 5 to 10 years or more, as your own experience shows. Certainly the 2004 Gaillard has a long life ahead of it.

04.03.08 at 6:52 AM

"So often eclipsed by the bombast of Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhone"
How right you are. The Loire is all about refinement. So much so that the area around Angers - just to the west of Saumur - is renowned in France for its "douceur angevine", meaning softness and gentleness. This applies as much to the people as to the environs.

Although you say that many of the vines are on tuffeau stone, it is worth mentioning specifically one non-tuffeau area in particular. Just to the west of Angers is (in many people's opinion) the finest expression anywhere of dry wine from the Chenin Blanc thanks to the schist terroir. It is an extraordinary wine, and worthy of a note specifically on the Savennières appellation.

Alder wrote:
04.03.08 at 7:41 AM


2005 was indeed a nice ripe year, which allowed many producers to avoid the green pepper, green wood character that can characterize (and ruin for me if too prominent) Loire Cab Franc.

Because of these wines good acidity, I think they have the potential to age and even improve a little over time. But I don't have enough personal experience with vintages of Chinon or Bourgeil going back farther than about 10 or 15 years to know whether they have a long life and whether they can really improve with extended aging.

I've had the Taluau bottling. It's good.

Leif Sundstrom wrote:
04.03.08 at 11:43 AM

If wanting older Cab Franc from Loire I recommend seeking out your local distributor for JM Raffault. This Chinon producer has done several late releases and I know here in Portland, OR it has recently been possible to get vintages as old as 1986 or 1989 (can't remember which). Beautiful wines that seem to age very well. Getting wine like this, direct from the producer, at this age will make it easier to lay some down another few years to test them out.

John Skupny wrote:
04.03.08 at 8:35 PM

It was exciting to see so many different French Cabernet Franc being tasted for WBW. I had to open a bottle of 2005 Bernard Baudry~Les Grezeaux~Chinon in honor of so many franc corks being pulled in such a short period of time. Stunning wine, one of the best wines I have ever tasted. Even with the apparent vintage ripeness, with the caliber and balance of this wine it should walk gracefully into it's next decade, maybe two. But it is so good now!

David McDuff wrote:
04.04.08 at 2:05 PM

Great discussion going on here, all.

At $16, it's likely that you're thinking of Taluau's Bourgueil "Cuvee du Domaine" or, if you're getting a good price, maybe the St. Nicolas de Bourgueil "L'Expression." The St. Nicolas de Bourgueil "Cuvee Vielles Vignes" -- which is the 1996 that came onto the market recently -- should run into the low $20s.

There have also been some '89s and '90s resurfacing from Baudry and Raffault in the last year or so. All three vintages (89, 90 and 96) are serious candidates for long term aging, as are 2002 and 2005.

Not ready to stop tasting Chinon after my own writeup of wines from Gasnier and Breton, I cracked a bottle of Baudry's regular 2005 Chinon last night. A little tangy on the finish but absolutely delicious. Great with sausages and crusty bread.

winenegress wrote:
04.04.08 at 3:51 PM

I have enjoyed my limited explorations of the Loire Valley and appreciate the information offered here. Also, on an unrelated note, I think I missed WBW #44. Could someone fill me in?

Steve L. wrote:
04.10.08 at 5:29 PM

Speaking of Loire Valley red wines from the 2005 vintage, the C. & P. Breton Bourgueil 'Clos Senechal' is just a stunning wine, at least for my palate. It's awfully appealing right now, but I'd expect some of the bottles I purchased to be showing very well in 10-15 years. At five years of age, the Bretons' 2003 Chinon 'Beaumont' is still very young (delicious, but young). The Breton wines are in Berkeley at Kermit Lynch (the importer) and in SF at Terroir.

Steve L. wrote:
04.10.08 at 5:32 PM

Speaking of Loire Valley red wines from the 2005 vintage, the C. & P. Breton Bourgueil 'Clos Senechal' is just a stunning wine, at least for my palate. It's awfully appealing right now, but I'd expect some of the bottles I purchased to be showing very well in 10-15 years. At five years of age, the Bretons' 2003 Chinon 'Beaumont' is still very young (delicious, but young). The Breton wines are in Berkeley at Kermit Lynch (the importer) and in SF at Terroir.

Rajiv wrote:
04.10.08 at 6:25 PM


The $16 is the Expression. As for the '96 vielles vignes, if it is available for low $20's, I'd love to know where! wine-searcher gives $38, and the local store has it for $35.

???????? wrote:
09.16.14 at 7:44 PM

Nicely put, Appreciate it!
xunjie ???????????????????????????????
?????????????OL??? ?????????????? ????????????????????
??????????????????????T???????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????
???????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????IBM??????·?????????8?30???????
???????????????????????????? ???????????????????

09.16.14 at 10:18 PM

Hey There. I discovered your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.

I'll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read
extra of your helpful info. Thank you for the post.
I will certainly comeback.

??????? 576 wrote:
09.17.14 at 3:00 AM

Many thanks, I enjoy this.
xunjie ????????EU??????????98.7??69.6????
??????????????????????????????????????????????? SK-2 ??? ??8.58????????3.5840???????
??????????????? ??????? ????? ????????????????????????
??????????????? ?? ?? ???????????????????
???????????????????????? ???

??? ?? wrote:
09.17.14 at 4:40 AM

Helpful forum posts Thanks.
xunjie ?????????????????????????????????????????????????
Amazon.com?????????????????????????????????? ?????? ????? ??????????????????????
???????????????????????????????????? ??? ??? ??? ?? ????????????
?? ??????????Class 9???????????????????
???????????????????????????????????? ??? ?? ?????

09.17.14 at 2:52 PM

I blog quite often and I genuinely appreciate your content.
This article has really peaked my interest. I will bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week.
I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

09.17.14 at 3:25 PM

Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm not seeing very good results.
If you know of any please share. Kudos!

09.17.14 at 3:35 PM

Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be
ok. I'm definitely enjoying your blog and look
forward to new posts.

09.17.14 at 3:39 PM

I always spent my half an hour to read this weblog's content every day along with
a cup of coffee.

09.17.14 at 3:39 PM

When I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the
-Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from
now on whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment.
There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that
service? Thank you!

09.17.14 at 3:45 PM

Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site,
how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.

I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

????????? wrote:
09.17.14 at 3:50 PM

I don't know if it's just me or if everyone else experiencing problems with your website.
It looks like some of the text on your content are running off the screen.
Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them
as well? This could be a issue with my web browser because I've
had this happen previously. Thank you

09.17.14 at 9:40 PM

Cheers! Lots of data!

xunjie ?????????????????????????????
??????????????????????? ?????? ?????? 1???????????????????????????????????
??????????????????????????????? ?????? ?? ????? ???????????????????????????????
???????????????????????????? ????
?????????????????????????????? ?????
?? ????? ???

09.17.14 at 10:36 PM

Fine posts Thank you.
xunjie ??????4???????????
??????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????? ?? ??????????????????????????
???????????? ????? ????? ??????????????4???????????/ 10?????????PC21?????????????????????????????????????????????
???????????????????????????? ?? ???? ???????????????????
????????????? ???? ? ??????

09.18.14 at 3:30 AM

You reported it adequately!
xunjie ???????????"
??????????????????????????????????? ??? ?? ??????????????????????????????????????"
?????????????????????????????????????????1?? ???????? ?? ???????????
??????????????????????????? ??? ?? ?????????????????
?????????????????????????????????????????" ??????
?? 2014

09.18.14 at 4:23 AM

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself
or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I'm looking to
design my own blog and would like to find out
where u got this from. many thanks

09.18.14 at 5:51 AM

What's up, for all time i used to check web site posts here in the
early hours in the dawn, since i like to gain knowledge
of more and more.

09.18.14 at 6:37 AM

Regards! Useful information!
xunjie ???????????????????????????????
??????????? ????? ?? ??? ?? ?????????????????
??????????????????????? ?????? ?? ?????? ??????????????????????????????
?????17??????????????????????? ?? ????????????????
???????????? ??? ????

09.18.14 at 7:51 AM

Now I am going to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming yet again to read more news.

mogbiz.by wrote:
09.18.14 at 8:44 AM

Hi, Neat post. There is an issue along with your web site in web explorer, may test
this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a large component
to other people will pass over your wonderful writing
due to this problem.

09.18.14 at 4:10 PM

chandra ekajaya
This web site truly has all of the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didn't know who to ask.

Stick War wrote:
09.18.14 at 10:49 PM

Hello to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting more from this
website, and your views are good designed for new people.

Bobbye wrote:
09.19.14 at 12:37 AM

excellent issues altogether, you just won a new reader.
What would you recommend in regards to your post that you simply made some
days ago? Any positive?

???????????? wrote:
09.19.14 at 3:50 AM

Cheers. I value it.
xunjie ????????????????
??????????????????????? ????????????2014 ??????????????????????
??????????????????????????????????????" ????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????
??????1?????????????????????? ????????????????????????"

???Tzeng???9?3??" ????????????

TOMS ?? wrote:
09.19.14 at 5:07 AM

Nicely put. Regards!
xunjie ????????????????????????????
????????????????????????????????????????????? ????? ??
??? 2010 CHIC???3?28?-31?JANECO?JI???????????????????????????W3D01JANECO?JI?????????www.janeco.com.cn???????????????"
???????????????? ???????? ???????????????
??????????????? ??? ??????????????????????????
?????5??????????????????????? ???????? ???? ??????

09.19.14 at 9:00 AM

We're a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.

Yoour site provided us with useful info to work on. You have performed a formidable
task and our whole group will probably be thankful to you.

09.19.14 at 10:38 AM

That is ?ery inter?sting, ?o? are an excessively skilled blogger.
I've joined ?our rss feed and l??k ahead to in search ?f extra of yo?r fantastic post.
Also, I have shared youir website iin m? social networks

09.19.14 at 12:26 PM

Hey would you mind letting me know which hosting company you're
using? I've loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot
quicker then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a fair price?

Many thanks, I appreciate it!

09.19.14 at 5:51 PM

Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog
and wished to say that I have really enjoyed browsing
your blog posts. In any case I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you
write again soon!

??? ?? wrote:
09.19.14 at 7:33 PM

Seriously quite a lot of excellent material.

xunjie ????8??????????????????????????????
?????????????" ?????? ????? ????????????
??????????????????????????????? ???????? "

?????????????????????????????????????????? ??? ?? 2014 ???????????????????????????????????????
?????????????????????????????????????? ??? ??? ????

????? wrote:
09.19.14 at 7:48 PM

Cheers! A good amount of content.

xunjie ???????????"
?????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????? ??????????????
??????????????????? VANS????? ??????···????????????????????????
????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????
?????????????????????????????? ?????????

??????????? wrote:
09.19.14 at 8:42 PM

Thanks a lot! Ample forum posts!

xunjie ????????????????????????????????????"
????? ???????????????160??????"
??????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
??????????????????????? ??????????"
???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????

09.19.14 at 11:09 PM

My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page and thought I may as well
check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
Look forward to going over your web page again.

TOMS ????? wrote:
09.19.14 at 11:23 PM

Many thanks. Useful stuff!
xunjie ??????????
??????????????????????????? ???????? ???????????????????????????????
????? - ????????? ???????? ?????????????????????????????
???????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????
?????????????????????????????????? ?????????

09.20.14 at 2:20 AM

Kudos, Numerous forum posts!

xunjie ????????????????????????????????????
????????????? ??????????????? ????????????????????????
???????????????????? ??????????? ??????????????????
???????????????????????????? ????????????????????
????????????????????? ?????

09.20.14 at 4:00 AM

????? ?????? ?????? ???? ???????
??????? ???? ??????? ?????????? ,
??? ?? ????? ?? ? ?????????? ?????? ??????? ??????? ??????
??? ??????? ????????? ??????? ?????? ???????????? ???????????????
???????????? ??????? ???? ?????? ??? ???? ??? ??? ???????? ?????????? .

09.20.14 at 4:02 AM

What's up to every one, because I am really keen of
reading this web site's post to be updated regularly.
It carries fastidious stuff.

??????????? wrote:
09.20.14 at 4:05 AM

Thanks a lot! Ample advice!

xunjie ??????????
?????????????10.9??????????????????5.82???? ???????? ???????????????
??????????????????????? ?????????????????? ??????????????????????????????
???????????????????michaelkors??????? ???????????????????????
???????????????????????????? ???????

??? ????? ?? wrote:
09.20.14 at 4:18 AM

Kudos, Loads of write ups.

xunjie ????????????????????????????
??? ????? ?? ?????????????????
?????????????????????? ??????? ????? ?? ???????????????
?????????????????????????? ????? 996 ???????????????????????????????
?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????? ?? ???

09.20.14 at 6:06 AM

Generally these sites contain a section for types of messages, and they contain all possible categories of messages like Hindi SMS,
Love SMS, sorry SMS, and poetic SMS etc. Maybe just writing any poem for you would be crazy.
If you can incorporate these feelings into a poem, then you have just created for yourself an epic funny short love poem.

Stick War wrote:
09.20.14 at 6:08 AM

Hi, just wanted to mention, I liked this post. It was
helpful. Keep on posting!

09.20.14 at 4:01 PM

Likewise, when providing acquisitions that call for transport, you can in some cases get free
freight of items over a particular dollar amount-- by making using of online promos as well as acquiring in bulk quantities,
you can easily then sometimes make free of charge shipping.
Sites supplying on the internet vouchers routinely specify vouchers by
retailer or through type. Therefore, if you are actually planning to patronize
your preferred local seller you may do so on the Internet by simply examining the
vouchers, price cuts and also sales the retailer is giving.

09.20.14 at 4:50 PM

I couldn't resist commenting. Well written!

09.20.14 at 6:01 PM

Quality posts is the key to be a focus for the users to paay a visit the site,
that's what this webb site iss providing.

Addie wrote:
09.20.14 at 8:53 PM

After checking out a handful of the blog articles on your
blog, I seriously like your way of blogging. I added it to my
bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please check
out my website too and tell me how you feel.

Auto Transport Companies are offering their services in different parts of the world.

As the purpose of the vehicles requires short duration flights,
these planes usually have only a single engine.
After all, taxi drivers know the place in and out and will take you anywhere you want.

???????? wrote:
09.21.14 at 6:44 PM

Really tons of wonderful info.
xunjie ????????????????????
"??only_?????????? ????? ???????????????YOUYOU BAMC???????????
???????????????? ???????? ?????????????????????????????????????????
??????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????"
?EC·???????????????????????????????? ????

09.21.14 at 6:51 PM

You actually expressed it terrifically!
xunjie "

???????????????????????????????????????G?????????? ???????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????
???????????? ?????????95 ???????????
?????????????????????"??????????? ????????????????????????????????Xianshu????
?????????????????????????????????????? MO???????????

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Tallying the Damage from the Napa Quake Vinography Images: A Sea of Blue Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 14, 2014 The Taste of Something New: Introducing Solminer Wines Vinography Images: Swift Work Social Media Answers the Question: Where Did Australian Wine Go Wrong Hourglass, Napa Valley: Current and Upcoming Releases Drought Problems? Just Have an Earthquake Vinography Images: Just One Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 1, 2014

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.