Bertrand Galbrun

VigneronBertrand Galbrun
LocationBenais (Indre-et-Loire)
Size of Domaine5.3 ha
TerroirContinental climate with Atlantic influence. Gravel, sand, clay and flint over Turonian chalk (tuffeau). Southern facing hillsides. 40-100m altitude.
ViticultureCertified organic (Ecocert) and biodynamic (Demeter)
View Bertrand Galbrun wines ↓

Located opposite Chinon on the right bank of the Loire, halfway between Tours and Angers, Bourgueil was granted AOC status as early as 1937 but red wine production dates back centuries. Bourgueil has three main soil types: sand on flat land closer to the river, gravel at the bottom of the coteau and clay-limestone at mid-slope level where tuffeau (friable chalky limestone) often outcrops.

Bertrand Galbrun

The sensitive and humble Bertrand Galbrun works 4.7ha of vines, three of which are found on sand and gravel, usually a few meters deep before reaching the limestone bedrock. In 2019 he added 0.65ha to his holdings of prime terroir on tuffeau, with a plot located right above Pierre Breton’s famous Clos Sénéchal and surrounded by woods. It is one of the very best terroirs of the appellation where he planted cabernet franc as well as chenin – a rarity locally since chenin is not part of the AC. Bertrand and a group of producers are currently lobbying the INAO to create the Bourgueil Blanc appellation.

Sand and gravel at the bottom of the coteau
Upslope outcropping tuffeau

Certified Demeter since 2015, Bertrand is part of a group of about ten vignerons, in Bourgueil and Saint-Nicolas, who pull together (usually chez Bertrand!) to make their biodynamic preparations and minimize costs and labour. He is a hard worker and farms the 4.7ha on his own, sometimes assisted by a seasonal employee in the busier summer months.

In the cellar, he likes to make wines that are pure and direct as he tries to interfere as little as possible. He favours low extraction with minimal pigeage or remontage during fermentation, preferring to work essentially by infusion. With the exception of the cuvée Tempérance which is aged in old oak, the élevage is done in cuves helping to retain a beautifully defined fruit quality. Sulphur levels never exceed 30mg/l total, and once bottled the wines are stored in ideal conditions, in the famously gigantic underground caves, dug out of tuffeau and connecting the many houses on the coteau.

01_Vine_Trail_Bertrand_Galbrun_5_3 Bertrand in his new plantier above the Clos Sénéchal

Bertrand Galbrun Wines

100% Cabernet Franc
100% Cabernet Franc (12.5% alc.)
(12.5% alc.)

Bertrand’s first cuvée comes from low yields (25-30hh) of biodynamically worked 30yo vines planted in Restigné (sand and gravel soils with limestone at depth). Fermentation is carried out by gentle infusion with just three or four pumping overs during two weeks, ageing for ten months in cement. This is a lovely 'vin de soif', it has a clear mid-red colour with cherry glints, and attractive red fruits on the palate. Low sulphur of around 30mg/l total.

100% Cabernet Franc
100% Cabernet Franc (12.5% alc.)
(12.5% alc.)

In a normal year Bertrand makes just 3,000 bottles of this excellent wine from 45yo vines in a fine lieu-dit on a plateau with soils of deep gravels overlying limestone. The wine was cuve aged to retain all its fruit, has a dark raspberry colour, is well-balanced with some spice on the nose and sappy cherry fruit, fine grained tannins and is very clear cut with a saline mineral quality on the finish. SO2 around 30 mg/l total.

Previous Grower ← Julien Delrieu
Next Grower Vincent Gaudry →