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Jacques Antoine Toublanc
'I have been making wines for Clos Rougeard for a long time now, and I have seen the region evolve. It is now time for me, to put my ideas into bottles under my name.'
Grapes from 2 growers
Wine sourcing can be like treasure hunting sometimes, you never know what surprises will come your way. Back in February 2019, when trying to pick out a good Champagne to drink at a restaurant in Saumur, the chef-owner put a bottle on our table and declared: "This is what you want. Trust me." The wine turned out to be the most memorable of the night, and there were very many good bottles that night. Jacques Antoine Toublanc was the winemaker, and his Crémant de Loire 2014 the wine.
Toublanc, a Saumur native, received his enology degree in Bordeaux in the mid-'80s, then spent the next two decades or so working in Saumur before going on a seven-year stint in Chile. A couple of years ago, having been a long-time friend of and consultant to the Foucault Brothers, Jacques Antoine was asked to take over winemaking at the fabled Clos Rougeard after the passing of Charly Foucault. In many ways, especially to us outside of the Garden of France, Jacques Antoine is a master of the Loire, hidden in plain sight.
Now back to the Crémant de Loire – the surprise treasure. All sparkling wines by Jacques Antoine go through secondary fermentation and spend at least three years on the lees – no short-cuts, proper vintage Champagne standards. The precision, opulence, and taste of the crémant rival some of the best grower Champagnes, indicative of Jacques Antoine's winemaking approach and quality. With over three decades of experience, Jacques Antoine has seen it all and is now carefully choosing grapes from his close and well-known friends, making wine for himself and putting his own ideas into the few bottles that he makes each year.
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