I am increasingly impressed by the quality and value of the wines from the Cellier du Beaujardin, a small local cooperative based in Bléré in the Cher Valley along with their associated Domaine des 7 Lieues.
The Cellier du Beaujardin project started in 1923 with 86 members wanting to work together. Two years later Beaujardin was established under the impetus of Paul Racault (schoolteacher and deputy) as well as the mayor of Bléré – Charles Simon. Today the Cellier du Beaujardin has 30 vignerons and 11 associates with 200ha of vines spread across seven communes/sites on both banks of the River Cher. These are: Athée, Bléré, Vallée de Thoré (part of Civray) and Francueil – south side of the Cher; then Dierre, La Croix and Civray-en-Touraine on the north side of the river. Cellier du Beaujardin owns about half of the vineyards, giving the director – Kévin Vigné – and his team direct control over the quality of grapes produced. In 1991 they created the Domaine des 7 Lieues, which is a selection of their best parcels across the seven communes.
Four favourite wines
Cabernet 2019 Touraine, Domaines des 7 Lieues
Their 2019 Cabernet Franc from Domaine des 7 Lieues with 12.5% alcohol has impressive concentration, ripe fruit and balance without being alcoholic as some 2020 Loire reds are. It is attractive to drink now but it would be interesting to see how this 2020 is in five years time – assuming I am able to resist the temptation to open another bottle.
The Côt-Malbec from Domaine des 7 Lieues has often been impressive and the 2018 is no exception. More structured than their 2019 Cabernet and again with good concentration of black fruits and well balanced. Like the Cabernet 2019 it would be interesting to see how well this will age. Certainly well-made Côt from the Cher Valley has rightly been known for its ability to age.
The Cabernet and Côt both cost only 5.75€ from Beaujardin – a snip as they are worth considerably more.
The 2021 is simply delicious – ideally suited to summer drinking. It is a real success in a difficult vintage with delicate red fruits and refreshing acidity without being austere and green. A great bargain @ around 4.30€.
Les Chatenay 2015 is a fine sweet Chenin from Touraine with an attractive texture and notes of ripe apricot, quince and peach. It is not super sweet so won’t work with many desserts but it will with strawberries, raspberries and other berry fruits. Try it with blue cheese, pâtés and why not as an apéro to ring the changes from a dry white or fino sherry?
Cave de Bléré
32 avenue du 11 Novembre 1918
Tel: 02 47 57 91 04