2011 Manoir Tête Rouge “Bagatelle” Saumur Rouge



Le Manoir de la Tête Rouge was built in 1649 at the foot of the hill of Le Puy-Notre-Dame. Its establishment gave rise to a tiny little estate making Cabernet Franc in Saumur and to today’s offering, the complete, unexpurgated name of which is Manoir de la Tête Rouge au Puy Notre-Dame “Bagatelle” Saumur Rouge.

In any case, its aged Cabernet Franc, and it’s everything aged Cabernet Franc should be: A glorious expression of compact concentration with contrasting notes of bright fruit; a linear and direct palate with loads of depth and complexity; and a long and very fresh mineral finish. At eight years old, it’s still in the early days of its life, with much time to go. It’s oh-so-fun to drink now with a platter of shaved parsley ham, goat cheese and an eggplant terrine. But, like all Cabernet Francs, this wine will go much further.

So how did I come by these bottles, and why do I have them at eight years old? Particularly since Manoir de la Tête Rouge has become allocated since the 2013 vintage and hasn’t been seen in Wisconsin in a long time?

Well, back in the day, I couldn’t make sense of Loire Valley Cabernet Franc, but a few of you encouraged me keep trying it, and so I did. And I also did some reading. That reading led me to conclude that Loire Valley Cabernet Franc ages incredibly well and that, as a service to my clients (and myself!), I should lay some down. You may not believe this, but these bottles have been in the cold dark depths of Waterford ever since. I pulled one out recently just to check where it was at, and I believe its finally at a tasty point of drinkability. Its fruits have blossomed, and its hard edges are gone, but it’s still very fresh.

We try hard at Waterford, and bringing you perfectly cellared, back vintage cult wines is hopefully one way we prove that we are working as hard as we can. Cheers! And enjoy.

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