Domaine de la Cune occupies a very special place in the history of 3D Wines, as Jean-Luc Mary was the very first winemaker we appointed way back in 1992. Over the succeeding years Jean-Luc and his brother Jean-Albert have charmed many 3D Partners with the warmth of their welcome and the quality of their wines. Year in, year out, they make wonderfully rich and fruity Saumur-Champigny, which can be delightful when drunk young, but has the ability to age well too.
Only nine small communes to the southeast of Saumur in the LoireValley are permitted to use the appellation of Saumur-Champigny for their red wines. All are produced from the Cabernet Franc grape grown on chalky soil, which helps impart much of the distinctive flavour to this elegant wine. Our wine, Les 3 Jean, is made from grapes from older vines grown on a separate plot of land with a much higher proportion of sand in the soil. This, combined with the underlying chalk, produces a wine with a very distinctive red-fruit flavour that complements the typical blackcurrant flavour of Saumur-Champigny.
Les 3 Jean is made exclusively for 3D Wines’ Partners and is not available to anyone else, even from the vineyard. An individually handcrafted wine, it has been a regular medal winner at the International Wine Challenge in London (the largest and most prestigious blind wine tasting in the world) since 1998. It has a unique label and is called ‘Les 3 Jean’ in honour of the two generations of the Mary family who have made wine for us – Jean, and sons Jean-Luc and Jean-Albert.
The brothers, both qualified oenologists, are the third generation of the family now in charge of winemaking at Domaine de la Cune. Despite, or perhaps because of, their formal training (6 years in Bordeaux plus experience in Australia and California) they are careful to ensure that the traditional winemaking methods of the appellation are enhanced by technology rather than replaced by it. This combination of good husbandry and modern chemistry helps their wine stand apart from others within the appellation. Indeed, Jean-Luc and Jean-Albert are the only red wine producers in the whole of the LoireValley to have been awarded a Trophy at the International Wine Challenge. Little wonder that wine expert Oz Clarke rates them amongst the best in the region.
A deep ruby red or garnet when young, this wine is immediately appealing with its striking fruit aromas of raspberry, redcurrant and blackcurrant. It is a ‘big’ wine, full of sumptuous fruit flavours balanced by soft acidity and smooth tannins. Although mouth-watering in its youth, this wine ages gracefully for up to ten years, and gradually takes on a delicious spiciness as the tannins soften. We strongly advise you to keep some – if you can – from each vintage to enjoy in future years.