I got a call on my mobile from Anne at Domaine des Tabourelles to say that she’d heard about my research and would be delighted if I could visit her in Bourré. I squeezed into my Japanese micro hire car and set off. Bourré, on the right bank of the Cher, is a pretty little town cut from the limestone côtes that form the river’s northern bank. Domaine des Tabourelles has been owned by the Germain family since the 1970s and daughter Anne is now at the head of the estate running a successful winery, export business and chambres d’hôtes. Eighteenth-century properties are often full of surprises and here is no exception. Apart from Anne’s charming smile and genuine enthusiasm, you encounter cellars and stairways hewn from the pale rock, a sunny south-facing terrace overlooking the valley and three grand rustic bedrooms with great views. No, it’s not a chateau, but it feels like a little castle clinging to the rock; from the rooms with their high, beamed ceilings you look out through full-length windows down to the gardens below. The family’s wines have a contemporary, international feel; the grape varietals used include malbec and gamay as well as the ubiquitous chenin and these are mentioned on the label – helpful for UK buyers. The wines are very approachable even in the youth so there’s no need to hide them in the cellar for years. Try the gamay with local friture (fried whitebait) and the malbec with a rich matelote d’anguille. The sweet white chenin is great with local goat’s cheese.
Anne Josseau, Domaine des Tabourelles, Bourré 02.54.32.07.58 www.lestabourelles-leveret.com