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Simply Delicious Cabernet Franc for a Song: Amirault's Bourgueil Côte 50


Stylized image of Yannick Amirault Bourgeuil
This domaine, I believe, turns out some of the best red wines in the entire Loire Valley. Overlook them to your disadvantage.

—Chris Kissack, thewinedoctor.com


Côte 50 is the Amirault family's entry-level Bourgueil, the kind of Cabernet Franc you might get, slightly chilled, at a nice bistro and enjoy with anything from moules frites to a burger. But Amirault is among the best producers in the Loire, so even their entry level wine falls into the "all that and so much more" category. 
This 2021 delivers a mineral signature and hint of floral aromatics that give a true sense of Bourgueil terroir; a fine, wiry expression of the throwback cool vintage; and just the kind of balance and stuffing that makes this a perfect candidate for any "reasonable cellar" (John Gilman, who loved the wine, gives a drinking window out to 2055!).

We really haven't written about this top-quality domaine enough. So here's a quick summary: Yannick founded the domaine in 1977, after inheriting 3.4 ha of vines from his grandfather, who also encouraged him to reduce chemical use and turn to more sustainable farming. And Yannick didn't just take his grandfather's advice — he ran with it. He became one of the finest farmers in the region, and in 2003, he and his son Benoit began the conversion to organic.

The 2021 is our perfect chillable summer red: fresh, juicy, and just serious enough that if you want to stop and pay attention it's worth your while. As a bonus, if you don't finish a bottle, just pop it in the fridge and it will be good to go for another couple of days. And best of all, it's a stupidly great deal — especially with today's discounts.

Yannick Amirault, Bourgueil 'Côte 50', 2021 $22.99
The critics love it too!
"From the sandy gravel soils close to the border with Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, the 2021 Côte 50 is a supple, flowing style. The wine eases its way across the palate with an element of spice, raspberry and red cherry. As this red draws to a close, there's a real sense of tension almost a sense of austerity, but that's a reflection of the cool vintage." Rebecca Gibb, Vinous.

"Opens with a nicely perfumed nose of damsons and blackcurrants, while the palate presents a supple and reserved style, with good maturity for the vintage, with dried blackcurrant and damson skins, underpinned by a firm yet powdery backbone of tannins, all freshened up by the lively acidity which typifies this vintage. This is a delicious, bright, easy-drinking style, with an integrated grip in the finish. For drinking now and over the next few years." Chris Kissack, winedoctor.com


This story was originally featured in our newsletter, where it was offered at a special subscribers-only discount. Subscribers get special offers, the first look at new discoveries, invites to events, and stories about wines and the artisans that make them.