A super Loire red from Frederic Mabileau

I’m a bit of a sucker for Loire reds. They’re the antithesis of the ‘international’ style of red wine, and they’re quite difficult to ‘get’. But they’re lovely. It’s so great to have wines like these, with a point of difference. Although I have to admit that I ordered a Mabileau wine blind in a restaurant in Saumur a couple of years ago, only to my horror to find that it reeked of new oak. Fortunately, this one doesn’t. UK agent is Richards Walford.

Frederic Mabileau Les Rouilleres St Nicolas de Bourgeuil 2009 Loire, France
12.5% alcohol. Very appealing with lovely pure fruit, yet it’s fresh and edgy, with dark cherry and raspberry fruit with chalky, gravelly, mineral notes. It’s nicely savoury with some tannic grip and plumminess. Fresh with nice savouriness, with cherries to the fore. Real elegance. 91/100 (The Wine Society have stocked this in the past, and Waitrose have some of the 2007; both have apparently bought the 2009 from Richards Walford, but I can’t find it listed yet – price c. £13)

Find this wine with wine-searcher.com

6 comments to A super Loire red from Frederic Mabileau

  • Have to agree this is a really good value approachable Loire red. I always hope that customers are up to try something a little out of there comfort zone and this kind of coverage can help. Thanks.

  • What I like about it is that it’s quite a modern take on Loire reds, but maintains the personality of St Nicolas – it’s good modern. And it’s thoroughly delicious.

  • Les Rouillères (I know I am being a Loire-pedant Jamie, but you spelt it wrong in your note above) is Frédéric’s entry-level wine from a sandy and gravelly terroir. I think it works well in more favourable vintages such as 2009 and also looking back in 2005, although I think even in 2009 it still displays its rather lowly origins, and it will always be a fruity, early-drinking cuvée. The Loire isn’t just about easy drinking though, and his Racines and Les Coutures cuvées have more structure and depth. I prefer these other wines on the whole.

    Sorry to hear you had a new-oak experience with one of his wines – perhaps it was his Eclipse cuvée, which does see 50% new oak although it is in demi-muids not barriques. It needs time (I suspect) and if it was the Eclipse then it was almost certainly too young – the first vintage was 2005. That’s one of the problems with buying off restaurant lists of course.

  • Chris, not pedantic at all – a helpful correction – and thank you for the extra information

  • MarkT

    I do wonder if these aren’t getting a bit expensive. I bought the Racines 05 a couple of years ago for abiout eight quid. While I do think I probably drank them too soon, I would question whether there is value at over £12 or so (and the Rouillères used to sell for eight or nine in Waitrose very recently).

  • Damien Chase

    Interesting point regarding “value” from MarkT. I think though you might be missing the overheads the last ‘couple of years’ has added to the cost of wine. Take a £14 bottle of wine – VAT £2.33, duty £1.69, together just under 29% of the price paid, and leaving £9.98 for all other costs. On a £7 bottle, just under 41% is pure taxes. I’d say there’s little value sub-£12 these days. Sign of the times…

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