November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Carl Eppig » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:55 am

2009 Knapp Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc, ($14.95 U.S.). Alcohol level: 12.5%. The wine gives red berries on the nose and upfront, and more fruit, green herb and a touch of oak in the middle. It finishes nicely. We matched it with tenderloin steak, roasted baby Yukons, and green beans almondine. Lovely dinner.
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:55 am

I am definately on a Noblaie run right now! Here is a post on the `07 Manteaux....>

WTN: `07 Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon Les Blancs Manteaux.

$25 Cdn, 13% alc, good natural cork, up and coming estate, http://www.lanoblaie.fr

Medium ruby color, nose has jalapeno pepper, spice and earthy. No mistaking a Cab Franc here!
Initial entry shows soft tannins, dry with a herbaceous side. Slight earthyness on the finish, "supple..not too ripe" from across the table. Think very well structured, medium bodied, fair acidity. Has softened up somewhat since first tasted in-store a year ago.
Just as appealing on day 2, I plan to buy some Noblaie `08s that have just arrived in town.

Great with St Benoit hard blue cheese and pork scallopini.


The `09 Chinon has been sitting on the kitchen countertop for a while so here goes....>

WTN: 2009 Chinon Domaine de la Noblaie.

Jim Budd really thinks highly of this vintage, as well as the producer! 13% alc, $20 Cdn, LR1098T. Good natural cork, opened one hour, slight chilling down.

Color is a bright medium-ruby red, has a slight herbal streak on the nose with red berry fruits and some blackcurrant. Initial entry thought is dry, not too herbal or green. gentle balanced acidity, very fresh bright fruit, "appealing and fresh" from across the table. nice raspberry as it opens, ripe tannins.
A good introduction if one needs to explore a new area, do not need to hold too long. Do not think we need worry about the Bordeaux Bunch pushing up prices!!
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Tim York » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:57 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:WTN: 2009 Chinon Domaine de la Noblaie.

..... has a slight herbal streak on the nose with red berry fruits and some blackcurrant.....


I know what you mean by that herbal streak and I think that it is an essential part of Loire CabFranc and also left-bank Bordeaux in moderation; although the way it shows itself differs between the two areas. I find it hard to find an adequate descriptor which does not seem pejorative. "Green", "bell pepper" and "herbaceous" are assumed to be faults in most modern American criticism. Salil came up with "a vivid forestal greenness that brings a top Loire Cab Franc to mind" when describing a Pichon Comtesse and I think that captures it well whilst sounding favourable. I recall Chris Kissack making some value distinctions between such descriptors but I'm not sure where to look for the article.

I regret that a lot of "modern" producers, particularly in Bordeaux, are trying to eliminate these tastes in part, I suspect, to get higher ratings from WS and WA. The movement has also spread to the Loire valley and some producers are following suit (Yannick Amirault springs to mind; he wants to eliminate "poivron" tastes, as well as anything which can be suspected to be brett; it's a mystery for me that he still manages to make such interesting wines, perhaps because he does not fully succeed).
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Ben Rotter » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:03 am

Earlier this year (during the cooler months) I was drinking a fair bit of Baudry. Amongst the 2006, 2008 and 2009 Le Domaine's, the Bernard Baudry Chinon Franc de Pied 2009 showed very well.

It had a deep, though transparent, purple-red. It often put me in mind of Bordeaux in that it had a lovely woodiness (and I don't mean typical oak smells, I mean more like the smell you get off aromatic cedar wood). Vibrant pale cherried fruit and cold climate blackberry/bramble. A little vegetable and (almost minty) herbal-green leaf. Just a lovely nose with real Chinon typicity.

Light and smooth in the mouth - a bit like your tongue is walking on cushions. It has good acidity but also creaminess in the front and mid-palate before it freshens up slightly in the finish. It's the combination of the fruit profile and the cedary wood that makes it seems Bordeaux-like, I think.

I possibly prefer it to Le Domaine Chinon 2006 and 2009, though perhaps not the 2008 (and perhaps not the other labels, like the Grezeaux - but then, it's cheaper too), but having not tasted them side-by-side it's hard to tell.

Tim York wrote:Bougueil La Coudraye 2006 – Yannick Amirault... A bottle of this in September last year was disappointing... not up to standard


Interesting. I have come across an unpleasantly frequent bottle variation with the Coudraye - which is a shame, because when it's on form, it is fantastic IMO.
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Salil » Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:06 pm

The Franc de Pied's always shown a distinctive cedary quality that makes it seem more Bordeaux-like than the other Baudrys, and a remarkable lightness and polish. (From what I understand, the ungrafted vines have always come in at about a degree lower alcohol than the grafted vines.)
Love that wine - though I am trying to keep my hands off my other bottles for the moment.

Tim, agree - it's a shame a green flavour's considered a flaw by so many. I can certainly agree that a clearly unripe, vegetal aspect isn't pleasant, but the sort of forestal/herbal greenness that good Cab Franc can show (and a lot of classic Bordeaux - like Sociando Mallet, or the 94 Leoville Barton I opened a couple of nights ago) is something lovely and distinctive.
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Tim York » Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:49 pm

We have been exceptional lucky this year with vigneron visits from Bourgueil. In the Spring there was Frédéric Mabileau, at RVF’s Salon a couple of weeks ago Jacky Blot (La Butte) and last Friday Catherine Breton. Next week we will see Yannick Amirault. The only appellation leaders missing from the parade are Caslot (Dom. Chevalerie) and Pierre-Jacques Druet.

Friday’s tasting gathered together a number of French organic and biodynamic producers at Rob, the Brussels gastronomic temple (high prices :( ). This was a very interesting group of people and wines, the rest of which I will write up in a separate thread(s).

Domaine Catherine et Pierre Breton, Bourgueil
The wines were presented by Catherine. The grapes are certified organic (Ecocert since 1994) but methods have been upgraded to biodynamic with Demeter certification pending. More information is on their website http://www.domainebreton.net/web/index.php . The red wines are all made from Cabernet franc (by nice coincidence Breton is the local Loire name for Cabernet franc) and the estate is now venturing into Vouvray but I didn’t see any of those.

Domaine Breton has quite a fan club among serious Loire wine-lovers but this was the first time that I have seen their wines. The overall impression was of great freshness and fruit purity with just the right touch of the typical forest greenness which should make Loire Cabfranc, as well as left-bank Bordeaux, so distinctive. These are wines that I would be happy to drink any day just like Jacky Blot’s.
Chinon Beaumont 2010 (€19), made from chalky clay showed lovely red fruit together with charcoal and pencil lead touches. It was medium/light in weight, delightfully fruity with nicely light tannic grip. We are always told that the chalky clays give the wines for the long haul and the sandy gravels the fruity early drinking wines but nature seems to have turned the theory upside down here (and also in the other direction at Alliet’s weighty Vieilles Vignes from sandy gravel); delightful now 15.5/20+++.
Bourgueil Nuits d’Ivresse 2009 (€18), from selected old vine chalky clay and seeing no sulphur, was quite different from the previous showing medium+ weight, more amplitude and generosity, lovely hedonistic fruit with leather and mineral hints coupled with firm tannic structure. Good now but should improve with some age; 16/20++.
Bourgueil Les Perrières 2008 (€23), from 70 year old vines on siliceous clay, was a tougher and, at present, more closed and less hedonistic variant of the previous with medium/full body and still firmer tannic structure. This is a wine to be cellared for several years but is enjoyable now if one decants and is prepared to sacrifice the potential; 16/20 now with +++++ potential.
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:24 pm

Tim, that is exactly what Cab Franc is all about. Good for you!
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Jenise » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:45 pm

Interesting conversation the other night with a wine friend. The cab franc tasting I reported on was held at his house, and Loire cab franc is admittedly his favorite red wine. Two nights later we had dinner together and to that I brought two mid-90's Bordeauxs, both of which were quite open and generous, and one verged on opulent. During dinner we got to talking about handwriting (stay with me, this really does get back to wine) and what they're teaching kids these days about that and how our own handwriting has evolved--though of course I learned cursive as did everybody in my generation I now print, and in a very stylized way, like an architect. Anyway, so as they're leaving Gabe got this :idea: look on his face and said, "What you said about your handwriting makes sense now, it's like the Bordeaux which you love so much. Both are so blocky and structured, where the way I write and the wines I like are much more flamboyant."

Now if California Cabernet were his favorite wine, I'd get that comment. But Loire Cab Franc????? HUH??????
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:50 pm

Blimey, you lost me!!
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Jenise » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:52 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Blimey, you lost me!!


Come on, we both love Loire Cab Franc. But you wouldn't consider it flamboyant, would you? What's wonderful about it is, for me, that it's anything but!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Salil » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:53 pm

Jenise - while I don't get his comparison/comment, Loire Cab Franc can be pretty flamboyant, aromatic and compelling at its best. Make it out to the East Coast and I'll open a Clos Rougeard or two...
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:59 pm

Jenise wrote:
Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Blimey, you lost me!!


Come on, we both love Loire Cab Franc. But you wouldn't consider it flamboyant, would you? What's wonderful about it is, for me, that it's anything but!


You`re right. Its Doris in the wilderness up here, this weather is affecting my thinking.
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:32 pm

WTN: `09 Bourgueil Domaine Lefief.

Little known producer, part of the Loirevinsdomaines group (a small circle of producers). $18 Cdn, good natural cork, opened and decanted one hour.
Lightish colour, purple hints, not a lot of depth. Good aromatic herbal nose, more tannins as it warms and opens. Very berryish but pretty average CF.
Day 2 was more approachable as finish softened up but not the greatist buy imo.
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Tim York » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:20 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:WTN: `09 Bourgueil Domaine Lefief.

Little known producer, part of the Loirevinsdomaines group (a small circle of producers). $18 Cdn, good natural cork, opened and decanted one hour.
Lightish colour, purple hints, not a lot of depth. Good aromatic herbal nose, more tannins as it warms and opens. Very berryish but pretty average CF.
Day 2 was more approachable as finish softened up but not the greatist buy imo.


Bob, I wonder what is deterring your suppliers from going to the really good Bougueil producers like Amirault, la Butte (Blot), Breton, Druet, Chevalerie (Caslot) or Mabileau. Of course, I applaud enterprising discoverers of exciting new estates but this one doesn't seem to qualify as one of those.
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:33 pm

Tim, you are right. The rep here is a chap who used to work here in town but has a B`n B plus agency in Loire Valley. He brings in some obscure stuff at times, lord knows who tastes in the store downtown.
Richmond Hill Wines are a very good agency in AB/Calgary but do not seem interested in the names you mention. Baudry wines were here 3 yrs ago (sold out when I asked in May) but that was it. Its tough here!
Is it that Loire reds are a tough sell to the folks around here?
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Tim York » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:11 pm

Repeated from my cheese behaviour post but also appropriate here as an example of mature Loire Cabernet franc.

Saumur-Champigny Marginale 1996 – Domaine des Roches Neuves – Alc.13%. I have been reticient about opening these bottles because until about 2002 Thierry Germain was in a ripe fruit and lavish oaking phase. I am glad that I waited because the wine was lovely. Body was medium/full than but the shape was classical building up towards a long finish; the fruit was ripe and sweeter than with much S-C and showed some unusual rose petal aromas but the forestall green touches which I love were there discreetly as well as some forest floor. Acidity was lively and the tannins ripe and still firm enough for support. The new oak influence was by now a suavely integrated patina; 17/20++.
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Andrew Bair » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:17 pm

Two very different wines from Couly-Dutheil:

NV Domaine Couly-Dutheil Vin de Table “Blanc de Franc”
A rare example of Cabernet Franc vinified as a still white wine. The grapes are from the 2008 vintage.
Pale yellow-gold color. Nose of marzipan, and slightly musky white flowers. Full-bodied, creamy, well balanced, with moderate acidity. Tastes of breadfruit, apples, and pistachios. Displays good length throughout. Very good. I also liked the attractive label with the colorful leaves. (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_DjP7E_37HkI/T ... +Franc.JPG)

2005 Domaine Couly-Dutheil Chinon Clos de l’Echo “Crescendo”
This bottling of Clos de l’Echo sees more new oak, and a stricter grape selection. Moderately full-bodied, smooth, elegant, moderately tannic, and well balanced. More floral, less feral Chinon, without the bell peppers; instead lots of dark berries, cherries, and minerals, with some spices and a light earthiness. An excellent modern Loire red, though perhaps not one for the absolute purist.
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:46 am

From Thanksgiving dinner:

2010 Baudry Chinon Rosé
nose: minerals, slightly herbal, strawberryish fruit
palate: quite dry, beautiful filagreed texture, great balancing acidity and enough fruit within to keep it all in harmony

Really a lovely rosé and not much different from when I first tried it at the Dressner tasting in Chicago in March (April?). Because it's under cork, I'll probably drink up my remaining bottles by the end of next summer.

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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Salil » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:01 pm

2009 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon La Croix Boissée
Fantastic stuff. Savoury earthy, floral, herbal and red fruited scents combining into a beautiful aroma that builds with air; on the palate it's powerful and more deeply fruited than usual, but still showing the purity and finesse I always find in Baudry's wines with the tannins fine grained and bright acidity underneath keeping it very refreshing and elegant. I expect this will be incredible with time.
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:32 pm

Two in a row for Baudry which is great. I should pull an `05, there is enough material to keep this thread going, grin wink.

Edit***** on reflection I think the `05 Les Grezeaux might need more time (see WineDoctor). What do the experts think?
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Tim York » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:20 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Two in a row for Baudry which is great. I should pull an `05, there is enough material to keep this thread going, grin wink.

Edit***** on reflection I think the `05 Les Grezeaux might need more time (see WineDoctor). What do the experts think?


Bob, Baudry’s biggest and most age-worthy wine is La Croix Boissée; if I had that in 05, I would hold onto it like I am doing with Thierry Germain’s S-C La Marginale 05. Les Grézeaux is, I think, less strongly structured and I doubt if you would be disappointed with the 2005 now though there would be no hurry and it can probably still improve a little and last another 10 years. I remember that his entry level Les Granges 2000, built for early drinking, was still beautiful in its 10th year.

If I had more than one bottle, I’d open one soon and leave the other(s) a few years if the first bottle confirms the improvement potential.

Any other views from Baudry lovers? Salil?
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Salil » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:38 am

2005 Baudrys are not for drinking now.

Have had Grezeaux, Clos Guillot and Croix Boissee this year, and all have been tannic beasts in need of several years.
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:57 pm

Thanks Tim and Salil. I need to show some patience obviously!
Another bottle I have resting in the cellar is the `02 Clos de la Dioterie Chinon from Joguet. A wine I think I purchased from the Sampler on my last London visit. Any thoughts on this one, some interesting notes on CT.

**** Matthews notes on the `95 from a week ago.....>

# 1995 Charles Joguet Chinon Clos de la Dioterie - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
This had a sweet red fruit core much like the 1996 Druet Fiefs de Louys had. Had a nice herbal edge to it with subtle cedar, dried cherry and tobacco tones. The finish had some subtle silky tannins, but I'm not sure how long the sweeter, rounder fruit will last...maybe another 3-5 years?
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Re: November: Cab Franc for Wine Focus!

Postby Matthew Latuchie » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:32 pm

just had a couple beautiful Olga Raffault Les Picasses...

  • 2002 Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon (12/6/2011)
    I was surprised how tight this was - took about 5 hours to really open up. Had nice leather, dried tobacco, red fruit and dried leaves on the palate. Really great wine and I really do think that I'm moving over to prefer Olga Raffault's wine to Bernard Baudry. If you consider the price, it's no contest.
  • 1989 Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon (11/29/2011)
    Final Night in DC (Palena - Washington, DC): Beautiful Cabernet Franc. Expressive leather, dried fruit and floral tones mix with earthy mushroom and dried tobacco notes. The palate is mature and elegant with lithe earthy tones and a wonderfully feminine potpourri note. I could drink this all day long.
Posted from CellarTracker

i know that baudry is a sacred cow of sorts (and i love his wines), but olga raffault is QUICKLY becoming my go-to for Chinon. prices are far below baudry and i've yet to have anything but beautiful wines.
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