Discovering Frederic Mabileau's Wine Passion

October 23, 2012 10:27:37 AM EDT

Everyone has their personal wine producer: For each wine region, there’s someone you know, love and trust. You walk into a store or restaurant and long to see the name on a bottle or a list; and when you do – your heart skips a beat. Your palate screams to see that delicious liquid cascade into your glass.


But sometimes, we rely so much on our old, beloved friends that we forget about the excitement and that different kind of spark we get to feel when we encounter a new producer – and discover a new love.


            I will probably always remember the day I came into work and settled up to the counter for another tasting with one of our distributors.  The weather was beautiful and everyone was in a great mood but that is not what stands out in my mind.  The memory is all about my first ever glass of Frederic Mabileau St. Nicolas de Bourgueil ‘Les Rouilleres’ 2009 with its supple body, delicate concentration and balance.  It was indulgent; but not in the same context as we know it. This wasn’t too much of something, but rather, losing yourself in the absolute beauty, complete luxury and that essence of greatness, captured in a glass.


            After the tasting was over, I was desperate to know more about this small but exceptional producer in the Loire Valley wine region. Frederic Mabileau was born into a family of winemakers, and is now raising the next generation with the same extreme passion about the convergence of expression of soil and grape.  The family-run vineyard is grown using all organic and biodynamic methods, made up of mostly sand and gravel soil. Vines are interplanted with grass to create an environment that causes the roots to climb deeper, and work harder


Frederic highlights the Cabernet Franc varietal as the king of his vineyards, unlike the majority of the wine industry, where this grape plays second fiddle to the more well known Cabernet Sauvignon.   I have so much respect for the patience he displays when it comes to Cabernet Franc in both the field and the winery, as he works to avoid those telltale green qualities that come with the varietal.  Many of those who surround him refer to Frederic Mabileau as a perfectionist, and it shows. 


As I researched and read more about this great man, maker of such truly fine wine, there is one quote I came across from him that stands out: “With 27 hectares in production, you have to pay attention to the smallest detail and be convinced nothing is left to chance . . .”


Frederic Mabileau truly shows what it is to be impassioned about wine in its most natural state and expressive form.  His wine brings to light the romance that makes people fall in love with wine while upholding integrity in his practice.  

Posted in Featured Wines By

Allison Klug


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