The red wine theme for our 27th VWTC tasting was Cabernet Franc. We kicked it off with this classic Chinon from the Loire valley. As I opened the bottle and took a sniff I was very worried about the wine’s acceptance into our group. It was very, very funky with loads of herbaceous aromas- not everyones cup of tea mind you. This wine is deep purple colored with pronounced aromas of green pepper, dried herbs and earth. We also got funk, cave moss, overripe blackberry, sea salt, lavender, violet, plastic band aid, overripe cherry and sarsaparilla. There was definitely some minerality in this very complex wine. The palate was dry with medium (+) tannins, medium (+) acidity and was full bodied. In addition to the herbaceous notes we also got flavors of tart cherry on the plate, especially towards the back end. Oak was present by way of svelte cinnamon and nutmeg flavors and the wine finished to a medium length. I was pleasantly surprised how this $38 monster developed in the glass and became one of the group’s favorite wines. Some just love the funk! I gave it 91 points and would drink this over a 10 year window with hearty steaks, venison or rich stews. It gets 5 stars from me, just beware of the herbaceous quality of this varietal- times 10. Salut….
Chinon is a region in the Loire Valley of France where Cabernet Franc is the primary red grape. You know how I love the varietal so I couldn’t pass this one up, especially when it was on sale for $14. The wine itself is semi opaque and tending to garnet rather than ruby, I guess age is playing a factor here. The nose is developed with stewed plums, black cherry, black currant pie, leather, mint and violet. It is quite an interesting waft that got better as I swirled the glass. On the palate this dry wine has upfront tannins, good acidity and flavors of plum, black currant, black cherry, licorice, mint and violets. The leather and stewed plum notes are nowhere to be seen. The tannic grip is pronounced on the back end where I get some dry gums. It is a raw, primal wine with good fruit and structure but it is not for a big night. A serviceable weekday wine that gets 88 points from me and should be drunk by 2026, it gets 3 stars and would go nicely with hearty stews. Salut….
On my California grand adventure with my son, I managed to stop into a Whole Foods and take advantage of their sale on six packs of wine that day, they threw in a carrier for free!
I wanted a Chinon as soon as I saw the region represented. I was dying for a good Cabernet Franc, I figured the French would deliver. I was hoping for sexy, alluring violets, a dash of perfume, some silky tannins and perhaps a dollop of cassis for good measure. I was sadly disappointed. It was a lighter purple than expected with a very subtle nose of violets and damson. Light plums and some flower essence on the palate. The wine was dry yet not very tannic with a mid palate transition to darker berries and some acidity that is offset by some heat. Not an easy drinker nor was it my favorite flavor profile. 84 points and only 2 stars for this $16 effort. Pass and salut….