TN: 2005 Charles Joguet Chinon Les Varennes du Grand Clos - UGH, NOT FRANC DE PIED!

The 2005 Franc de Pied version of this wine is easily the best Chinon that I have ever had. Stop. I know you are thinking, what about Rougeard. Well, that is Saumur-Champigny. This is Chinon. But, they are comparable. Sadly, this Joguet FDP succumbed to the louse after 2007, it is now unicorn.

Tonight I am drinking the regular Les Varennes, not the Franc de Pied. It was supposed to be the FDP. That’s what I ordered, that is what I paid for, but this is what I got. LOL. The retailer’s shipping department sent some sad unsuspecting soul my FDPs, and me, this. But that is ok, mistakes are human nature.

This wine, however, remains sensational.

Firstly, will the 2005 Joguet ever be totally ready? I think the FDP was, but the Diotierie, Chene Vert, and now this, still need time. This wine remains quite youthful. And powerful. Big structure and tannins.

It is also archetype Chinon. After about an hour in the decanter, quite the aromatic display of brambly red fruits, tobacco leaf and ash, bell pepper and sois bous. Hint of a minty top note. Big palate feel. Meaty, chewy, tannic, lifted acidic structure. Also has the fruit to carry off this structure, solid range of the spectrum from tangy reds even to some brambly blacks. Raspberry purée. An earthy feel, like the river banks of the Loire are flowing in your mouth. And it’s grainy as well. This is not an elegant wine. This is something I suspect that the Plantagenets would have made.

On release, this wine was like $25 or less. The FDP was $25. I bought a lot, but clearly, not enough. These are wines that I should have bought in the multiple case lot. Chase them down. If you see one, buy it. Thank me later.

(94 pts.)


I think your retailer may have sent your bottles to me. Since I don’t keep very good records, I went ahead and drank them :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


That’s just cold man. Like chilly.

I’m so jelly!

AndyK brought the pair to dinner last month, chat with him :wink:

They were both outstanding. I thought they kind of went back and forth for which I preferred as the evening progressed. Maybe there was a group preference for the FdP, but honestly it wasn’t a big gap in quality.

I think I outbid Alfert on WineBid for these, so not sure he really wants to talk to me… :grimacing:

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Well then, they were mind blowing! The best wines I have ever had, I’ll never be able to reproduce the experience!

That’s what most people say when they meet me. Sadly, you and Andy won’t get the chance!



Andy has quite the cellar, you may want to rethink that :wink:

Don’t think I’ve had that wine, but have drunk (and have a few) 2005 Joguet Chinon wines. Bigger year than normal.


Thanks for the great note - I have some of the Dioterie and Varennes - sounds like I’m right to wait a little longer. Sadly, the FDP is almost impossible to find in any vintage, let alone this one!

I like all three top Joguets, but the Varennes is the only one to remain good value at release - it still goes for around 25€.

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Guys, I like the few wines I have had from Joguet, but I get confused about his various cuvees that are made. How would you compare them both in terms of quality and style? Also, is the domaine “better” or “worse” over the years with changes in the generations, etc.

Howard, the Kermit Lynch website has a very cool write-up on the Domaine plus the particulars of each cuvee:

Charles Joguet | Our Wines | Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

I would really only focus on the top three cuvees:

Clos de la Dioterie - Oldest vines, generally regarded as the Domaine’s top cuvee. In big years like 2005, it pushes 14.5% ABV, so can be a bruiser, and not necessarily architype. It is a very showy wine but not in the modern sense of the word. This is the wine you slip into a right bank tasting. It will confound.

Clos du Chêne Vert - For my palate, this is the top cuvee, and most archetype. Really classic expression of Chinon, and ages quite gracefully. Steep banked vineyard with excellent sun exposure, so always seems to do well even in rougher years. Drains well and sees the most sunlight. The most consistent cuvee to me.

Les Varennes du Grand Clos - As you can see from my note, this cuvee can be outstanding as well, but generally it is behind the other two by a couple or a few points. A small section of this vineyard had been planted in sand, ungrafted, and was able to survive the louse for quite some time, last vintage of the Franc de Pied was 2007. I have been mesmerized by that wine, so ethereal. Seems more vibrant and transparent than any of the other cuvees, even when I have had them side-by-side. I cannot discount that some of this could be attributable to the romance of Franc de Pied.

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Robert’s right about the top three being the ones to buy. I more or less agree with his assessment of each, to which I would add, in reverse order:

Les Varennes: I find this to be slightly lighter and more elegant than the other two, almost Margalais in style.

Clos du Chêne Vert: More body and depth than the Varennes, with the same finesse but maybe less elegance. When I last tried them together, I think the C.V. was just a bit bigger than the Varennes. In terms of price, the domain has “adjusted” that of Chêne Vert in recent vintages - it used to be slightly more than the Varennes, now it is slightly less than the Dioterie.
For example, the 2015 was 2 euros more than the Varennes, whereas the 2018 was 2 euros less than the Dioterie (and 10 euros more than the Varennes).

Clos de la Dioterie: Robert has certainly tasted this more than I have, but on the basis of the ones I have tried, I would it put it slightly higher than the Chêne Vert and a lot higher than the Varennes. For me, it combines the qualities of the two other wines but with a little more class.

But really they’re all great.

As to performances, I seem to remember someone saying that quality dipped in the 90s, not that I would know, but I would certainly say that there has been no noticeable dip in any of the wines I have tried since the 2001s, and I think that the current team is pushing the level higher - along with the prices. The Dioterie 2018 cost 36 euros, compared to 27 euros for Baudry’s Croix Boissée, whereas they used to be more or less the same price (and I don’t see a difference in quality between the two).

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Julian have you ever had the Franc de Pied?

And thanks for those comments above, really adds more flavor.

Great thread. I bought 5 of the 05 Joguet Dioterie at auction earlier this year, getting sucked in by the love around here. Gilman’s 94 pts didn’t hurt either, nor the reputation of the vintage. Sounds like I should leave them be for another 5+ years.

Cheers! Yes, I have tried the FDP…once! It was a 2004 a couple of years ago. I wasn’t bowled over but that’s probably more due to the vintage than the FDP. Unfortunately the chances of my finding any other bottles are slim indeed - and when they do appear they sell for stratospheric prices, like the Baudry one.

Pat, if you have not had one, since you have five of them, I would give one a whirl.

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Years and years ago, I bought a couple of bottles of the Dioterie (I think it was either 1989 or 1990). When they matured, they were fabulous (would have drunk them in like 2006 or 2007 or so). Would have bought more, but at the time I was reading that the reputation of the winery had slipped, and the wines were harder to find so I went to Weygandt Wines and bought some Plouzeau and Amirault instead (also have some Baudry and Raffault). Need to open some of these from 2009 and 2010.

Glad I now have you guys to tell me what is what with regard to these wines.

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We all clearly learn from each other! The 1990 Dioterie was rockin when I had it about 5-6 years ago. I heard the new releases are awesome, but the critics’a scores make me question whether these are just really ripe wines. The 2018 vintage was definitely a warm one in Chinon.

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