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Domaine de la Bergerie, Anjou Rouge “La Cerisaie”Loire Valley, France 2019 (750mL)

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Domaine de la Bergerie, Anjou Rouge “La Cerisaie” Loire Valley, France 2019 (750mL)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol

This really is a wine lover’s red wine. At this price point, there are plenty of juicier, softer, simpler reds better suited to “casual” wine consumption. “La Cerisaie,” by contrast, is for those who want their wine to taste and feel like wine, not a cocktail. If you want sweet and lush, look elsewhere. But if you like nerve, minerality, perfume, and persistence, this isn’t just an enjoyable $25 red but one you will remember after it’s gone.


If I were to encounter this wine at a party, or on a by-the-glass list, I’d be thinking, Wow, someone here knows what they’re doing. As I said, not all $25 wines are created equal: some, like this one, have an extra dimension beyond ripe fruit. We’ve offered this wine in previous vintages, and while it never fails to be immensely joyful, bright, and refreshing, it also has a serious side—true elegance, in fact, and a perfect balance of fruit and earth. Whereas a lot of Loire Cabernet Franc can be hard and a little muddy, this one is almost Pinot Noir-like in texture and aromatic expression. La Cerisaie” means “cherry orchard,” an apt name if ever there was one—it and the scarlet-colored label are the perfect harbingers of the plummy, woodsy wine inside.



As is typical of many producers in the Anjou, the Guégniard family of Domaine de la Bergerie does a little bit of everything, and does all of it well—from sweet, botrytis-affected Côteaux du Layon sweet wines, to dry and sparkling Chenin Blancs, to this transcendent 100% Cabernet Franc red. Their 36 hectares of vineyards are planted in the black schist soils of Anjou in the town of Champ-sur-Layon. In 1979, Yves Guégniard joined his parents in the family business, slowly moving the needle from humble wine farm to serious wine estate, acquiring supreme Chenin Blanc parcels in Savennières and the Grand Cru of Quarts de Chaume. The Guégniards have garnered wide acclaim for precision-crafted Chenin Blanc in all its forms, but the reds are hardly an afterthought. Since 2016, the entire Domaine de la Bergerie is “Agriculture Biologique” (Certified Organic), supported by the efforts of Yves’ daughters, Anne and Marie who, like magnets, were drawn back home to their winemaking roots in Anjou. 


The red grapes grow on warmer, heat-retaining schist soils mixed with silica and clay. Today’s wine, La Cerisaie, is Cabernet Franc from a single parcel in Champ-sur-Layon, fermented and aged in stainless steel only and brimming with freshness, floral aromatics, and life. There’s a combination of dark-fruited depth and utter ebullience that just makes you smile: In the glass, it’s a deep ruby with scarlet and purple reflections, with a farmer’s basket of black cherries, red-fleshy plums, blackberries, and red currants. It’s fruit first on the nose, but slowly the earthy notes unfold, with notes of black pepper, iron ore, and sweet green leaves. The wine is supple, gentle over the palate, not aggressive, fresh with dried pink flowers, a little peppery spice, and juicy-tart. 


It also has enough structure for short-term aging, perhaps 3-4 years, though it’s not likely to last long once you’ve tried a bottle: Decant it about 30 minutes before serving on the cool side of 60 degrees and serve it next to burgers, steak, roast pork, or even as a mouthwatering apéritif red with cured meats and cheese. Although it is not yet time for outdoor barbecue, I could see this wine playing a starring role in that scenario, next to a grilled skirt steak topped with lots of cracked black pepper. Just be ready to open a second bottle—once you start on this one, it’s hard to stop!





Domaine de la Bergerie, Anjou Rouge “La Cerisaie” Loire Valley, France 2019 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionLoire Valley
  • Sub-RegionAnjou
  • SoilSchist w/ Silica & Clay
  • FarmingCertified Organic
  • BlendCabernet Franc
  • Alcohol13%

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionLoire Valley
  • Sub-RegionAnjou
  • SoilSchist w/ Silica & Clay
  • FarmingCertified Organic
  • BlendCabernet Franc
  • Alcohol13%
  • Temp.Serve at 60° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2025
  • Decanting30 Minutes
  • PairingSkirt Steak w/ Paprika Butter