Do you think Rougeard is worth it?

Thanks for all the great responses everyone. I find it especially interesting for the recommendation to get experience with Cab Franc from the Loire valley before going to Rougeard- saying that it is important to have context within which to appreciate the wine. Without context, it becomes impossible to appreciate its greatness. I think this is solid advice, but…

I recently posted a question about Cornas, another region that I like but don’t have a lot of experience with. My question was essentially “where do I start with Cornas”, and the overwhelming advice was to go straight for the top. Get Clape and don’t look back! Kind of the opposite of the advice here. I wonder what accounts for the different recommendations.

Some specific responses below:

Any Baudry that you specifically recommend?

Well that is exactly what got me interested. The idea of trying something that transcends its region is appealing. Rougeard seemed like perhaps a “transcendent” producer that I might actually afford.

I have no idea where you are shopping, but the Wine-searcher average for Le Bourg that will ship to Connecticut where I live is $556. If I want something with 10 yrs of age, than the absolute cheapest is $600. Les Poyeux averages $400. Nothing even close to the $270 and $198 you found. When was this from?

That’s what I figured. I don’t know enough about Cab Franc from the Loire to know that $200 on a 2015 Rougeard would be a waste of money if consumed now, but sounds like it might be. Unfortunately, even the least expensive Rougeard with 10+yrs of age is going to cost >$300, and that’s more than I’m willing to part with for a bottle of a wine/region that I just don’t know enough about.

To be fair though, there are some top wines with 5 or 6 yrs of age that are well worth drinking. I’m not a huge Napa Cab fan, but many of the really expensive Napa Cabs are consumed at around this age. Also, I recently had a 2015 Ygrec that was absolutely magnificent. Not sure if one should consider it a top White Bordeaux (that honor probably goes to Haut Brion), but it’s at least the pinnacle of dry Sauternes. A small category to be sure, but this was an amazing wine at only 6 years of age.

I think if you asked “where do i start with Loire”… some people might say - go to the top and try Rougeard…

but your question here was more “is Rougeard worth it”… and when you talk about “worth” of a producer, you’ll hear opinions of maybe trying other cheaper ones being more ‘worth’.
vs if you want to learn about a region (say Cornas… or any region really), you want to try the top of it, as well as the main body of it, to really learn.

Similarly if you asked “is Clape worth it”… you might have people telling you to try Vinny Paris or Franck Balthazar etc, or other cheaper producers that might be more ‘worth’ it…

btw… Clape is not really “the top”… it’s definitely one of the good ones, but there are a few others i’d say is more ‘top’, but that’s not the discussion here so won’t drift too far [wow.gif]

Sensibility. There’s a lot more dick-swinging that goes on with the N. Rhone crowd than there is with the Loire crowd. Outside of, literally, a small handful of producers, Loire producers’ pricing isn’t high enough to attract folks who have a need to show-off. I’m not saying all recommendations to go “straight to the top” with Cornas were borne of this motivation, but I’m sure it wasn’t entirely absent either. Different crowds.

Side note: I splashed-out for a 2018 Clape recently (yes, for me, that’s “splashing around”). It was good, but nowhere near worth its price tag, imo.


I asked because I have no idea what people pay for this wine. I just bought a couple of bottles because it gets good reviews.

WS is not at all the actual pricing for allocated wines. WS is the prices that people won’t pay because the wines are still available. My source was a store in NYC with notoriously bad prices but they get lots of top producers so I buy what I can’t find elsewhere.

Keith hits the nail on the head here. It’s a matter of how much you are willing to pay for that extra bit of quality, and if the wine is your style.

For me personally, it’s an easy pass. But then I’ve been there, done that, to some extent – like some of the other old-timers, I bought a decent amount when the wines were more affordable, and I’ve still got around a case and half – mostly Poyeaux, 1995-2001.

Different take here. Having tasted them side by side enough times, my own take is that the regular Clos is a modest notch below Poyeux, and Bourg is not always superior to Poyeux. I preferred Bourg to Poyeux in 2011, but Poyeux over Bourg in 2010, for example.

But I agree there is no substitute

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I’m with Alan. I have clos a few more steps lower than poyeaux but bourg and poyeaux alternate based on the vintage.

Also I’ve never had a Bourg older than 2001 but I have had a number of older poyeaux. Based on that sample set I’m very satisfied with poyeaux.

Noah, try using the search function. There’s a thread with over 600 posts that will give you all of WB’s collective wisdom on Loire reds, along with at least a dozen opinions of Rougeard vs Baudry, and various assessments of the different Baudry Cuvées.

That thread is pure gold.

Can’t say I’ve had that many Rougeards, but as mentioned here, given the price of Olga Raffault-almost 1/10 of Les Poyeux, I’d stick with Olga. To me it’s just as magical.

I’ve had some great bottles of Les Clos and the way I look at it is, it offers an earlier drinking window than either the richer styled Les Poyeux or Le Bourg both of which see oak and therefore need time for it to integrate (at least for me) kind of like a classified Bdx.

My experience of Rougeard is limited to two glasses, a few weeks ago, both from 2009 - one was Les Poyeux and the other Le Bourg. They were both excellent, absolutely lovely wines, but it’s a bit like the question as to whether Bordeaux First Growths are worth it. Both were better than anything else from 2009 I have tried so far, but not by much.

Without the generosity of the friend who opened the bottles, I would not have been able to taste them because of the price, which is simply beyond the amount I am prepared to pay, and having tasted them I really cannot see the point. Each to their own!

I don’t understand what you mean by this. Please explain.

I think what Andrew means is that for VERY sought after wines, the current WS-Pro prices you see are not representative of the prices these wines usually go for at first release from “some” sources. For example, I got Clos Rougeard Les Poyeux 2015 for $180. WS-Pro lists this now at around $300. The $300 is more like the inflated after-market price from “some” retailers once the “regular” retailers sell their stock at $180. I used a lot of quotes as these terms are used loosely as there really are no standard definition of which retailer is which. The “regular” prices of sought after wines you see in WS-Pro will disappear within minutes or hours. A WS listing of 2016 Burlotto Monviglliero at $170 will be sold out within minutes, only leaving the hyper-inflated $600+ up prices lingering for months.

Note that this ONLY happens with very sought after wines. Things like Rombauer Chardonnay or The Prisoner WS prices are pretty much accurate as there are no artificial price inflation going behind the scenes.


By the way, if you can get a 2014 Les Poyeux for less than $200, it is worth it.

An opinion: the warm vintage does mask the essence of Rougeard, it’s elegance and complexity, while being more delicate and ethereal than any other Loire Franc I’ve experienced. In short, 2009 is probably the least interesting Rougeard vintage of the last 10 that have been released.

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Joel is right on the money. It’s free market economics 101. The available price on the stock market is always slightly above what someone will actually pay. Otherwise, the item would have sold and the next highest price would be available.

Clos Rougeard are fantastic wines, no doubt, iconic and really excellent at expressing the region’s ability. They’re too expensive for my personal budget these days, but I’d happily drink them any time.

If you’re looking for an interesting alternative, Richard Desouche from Le P’tit Domaine actually makes wine/works in the vineyard at Clos Rougeard as his day job (he and Nady Foucault met at the local blacksmith, became best buds) and makes some incredibly well-built wines at his own estate now. I highly recommend his wines, that, despite a painfully simple label when compared to Clos Rougeard’s, are incredible value for the vineyard quality (many are from just next to Clos Rougeard).


100% agree.

WS is an accurate measure of market pricing for larger production wines that don’t sell out.

Not at all accurate for tightly allocated wines.

WS shows the '15 Breze in NY for $350-$400. I got my '14 for $210 just a few weeks ago, and that’s obviously after release. And I am not anyone’s favorite customer, no special connections in the biz.