Sommelier selected wines
offered daily









Sign up for free today!
SommSelect: Sylvain Dittière, La Porte Saint Jean Saumur-Champigny, Loire Valley, France 2012 - SommSelect

$34

Buy 3 and we‘ll include shipping.*


Sylvain Dittière, La Porte Saint Jean Saumur-Champigny, Loire Valley, France 2012


The purest and most profound examples of Cabernet Franc come from the Loire Valley. Well respected producers, such as Clos Rougeard and Domaine du Collier, have taught us that Cabernet Franc can be as graceful as top-shelf Red Burgundy. Today’s winemaker, Vigneron Sylvain Dittière of La Porte Saint Jean, apprenticed at Domaine du Collier under renowned winemaker Antoine Foucault. He then went on to work for some of the greatest producers in France before beginning his own project in the Loire. The results of his efforts are stunning. A few years from now the wine will be peaking and will be some of your most prized finds, especially at this price. There is an extremely small amount of this wine available today and we must limit each person to 6 bottles until the wine sells out. This particular wine is not available anywhere else online in the US.


Dittière is an up and coming producer in the Loire Valley, especially so for the small sub-appellation of Saumur-Champigny, located in Saumur on the far eastern edge of this long river valley. Production at the estate is small, the quality of the wines is high and the price point is just right—making those who love Loire Valley Cabernet Franc clamor for these wines who sell out quickly each vintage. In 2010, Dittière took Foucault’s dedication to organic farming to heart and set out to purchase his own Loire Valley vineyard parcel. The vineyard he settled on is is a mere 3 hectare parcel (roughly 7 acres)—perfect for small production wines, made from tiny yields. Dittière farms all of the vines organically and keeps the yields very low, to make sure that every harvested grape is concentrated and flavorful. He prunes during the leaf-growing season and of course, harvests by hand when the grapes are ripe. Planted in classic Loire Valley soils of sandy, silty clay over limestone, the resulting wine possesses silky texture, a range of complex flavors and structure that is worth celebrating. In the cellar Dittière takes a very minimalist approach; the grapes for the 2012 La Porte Saint Jean are partially de-stemmed and then fermented in concrete tank, then aged on fine lees for a short eight months in two-year-old Bordeaux barrels, giving just a touch of spice, as well as a a bit of extra depth to the palate while preserving the fruit in the wine. Many say that this wine is so refined that it drinks like great Red Burgundy. Cabernet Franc is rarely this great and this wine’s true potential will be seen in time, so please be patient.


The 2012 La Porte Saint Jean has a very reflective dark ruby-red core that moves to pink and garnet reflections on the rim. The aromatics are intense, floral, and mineral-driven with aromas of red currants, wild green herbs, fresh rose petals, very finely crushed clay, a hint of fresh green tobacco, wild game and a touch of leather. The palate boasts a variety of fresh crunchy red fruits, followed by a myriad of flowers and perfectly integrated herbal qualities which are inherent to the varietal. Over the next three to five years, this wine will soften a little and become even more elegant as it ages so please save some bottles to experience this moment in the wine life. With that being said, it’s hard to resist drinking a few now and frankly, I will be doing the same. If drinking now, please decant this wine for at least thirty to forty minutes, then serve in large Burgundy stems. When first opened the wine can sometimes display a touch of reduction which will blow off quickly so be patient, this is normal. You will note that I am recommending Burgundy stems because this wine drinks more like Red Burgundy than it does Bordeaux. Serve at just above cellar temperature. For pairing, go with this recipe of slowly braised beef cheeks (ask your butcher for the cut). The evening will be legendary.

(Note: Please let the wine rest for 7-10 days after shipping before opening.)


Dittière is an up and coming producer in the Loire Valley, especially so for the small sub-appellation of Saumur-Champigny, located in Saumur on the far eastern edge of this long river valley. Production at the estate is small, the quality of the wines is high and the price point is just right—making those who love Loire Valley Cabernet Franc clamor for these wines who sell out quickly each vintage. In 2010, Dittière took Foucault’s dedication to organic farming to heart and set out to purchase his own Loire Valley vineyard parcel. The vineyard he settled on is is a mere 3 hectare parcel (roughly 7 acres)—perfect for small production wines, made from tiny yields. Dittière farms all of the vines organically and keeps the yields very low, to make sure that every harvested grape is concentrated and flavorful. He prunes during the leaf-growing season and of course, harvests by hand when the grapes are ripe. Planted in classic Loire Valley soils of sandy, silty clay over limestone, the resulting wine possesses silky texture, a range of complex flavors and structure that is worth celebrating. In the cellar Dittière takes a very minimalist approach; the grapes for the 2012 La Porte Saint Jean are partially de-stemmed and then fermented in concrete tank, then aged on fine lees for a short eight months in two-year-old Bordeaux barrels, giving just a touch of spice, as well as a a bit of extra depth to the palate while preserving the fruit in the wine. Many say that this wine is so refined that it drinks like great Red Burgundy. Cabernet Franc is rarely this great and this wine’s true potential will be seen in time, so please be patient.


The 2012 La Porte Saint Jean has a very reflective dark ruby-red core that moves to pink and garnet reflections on the rim. The aromatics are intense, floral, and mineral-driven with aromas of red currants, wild green herbs, fresh rose petals, very finely crushed clay, a hint of fresh green tobacco, wild game and a touch of leather. The palate boasts a variety of fresh crunchy red fruits, followed by a myriad of flowers and perfectly integrated herbal qualities which are inherent to the varietal. Over the next three to five years, this wine will soften a little and become even more elegant as it ages so please save some bottles to experience this moment in the wine life. With that being said, it’s hard to resist drinking a few now and frankly, I will be doing the same. If drinking now, please decant this wine for at least thirty to forty minutes, then serve in large Burgundy stems. When first opened the wine can sometimes display a touch of reduction which will blow off quickly so be patient, this is normal. You will note that I am recommending Burgundy stems because this wine drinks more like Red Burgundy than it does Bordeaux. Serve at just above cellar temperature. For pairing, go with this recipe of slowly braised beef cheeks (ask your butcher for the cut). The evening will be legendary.

(Note: Please let the wine rest for 7-10 days after shipping before opening.)







Country France
Region Anjou-Saumur
Sub-Region Saumur-Champigny
Varietal Cabernet Franc
Production n/a
Alcohol 12.5%
Oak Mostly Neutral French
Soil Sand, Silt & Clay over Limestone
Farming Organic
TASTING PROFILE

Fruit

Earth

Body

Tannin

Acid

Alcohol
TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Country France
Region Anjou-Saumur
Sub-Region Saumur-Champigny
Varietal Cabernet Franc
Production n/a
Alcohol 12.5%
Oak Mostly Neutral French
Soil Sand, Silt & Clay over Limestone
Farming Organic
SommSelect: Sylvain Dittière, La Porte Saint Jean Saumur-Champigny, Loire Valley, France 2012 - SommSelect SommSelect: Sylvain Dittière, La Porte Saint Jean Saumur-Champigny, Loire Valley, France 2012 - SommSelect

$34

Buy 3 and we‘ll include shipping.*

“Sylvain Dittière's wines show us that Loire Cabernet Franc can be as graceful as top shelf Burgundy, while remaining an excellent value.”

Enjoy monthly shipments of SommSelect wines direct to your door.

SommSelect brings a sommelier’s knowledge and experience to everyone, at every budget, every day. We aren’t influenced by scores or ratings, or by a need to move inventory. Instead, our co-founder and in-house Master Sommelier, Ian Cauble, tastes dozens of wines from the world’s best producers each week to find those that truly stand out. Enjoy our selections.

Read more about Our Story