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Tasting Note: Chinon

If you think of red wines as dark, full-bodied and robust - and even if you like them that way - it's worth taking an occasional attitude adjustment with a Cabernet Franc from Chinon in the Loire.

While the Loire Valley of France is probably best known for white wines, the smallish region called Chinon (home of the satirist Rabelais, a man who knew his food and drink) produces mostly red wine. But it's a distinctly different kind of red, usually light-bodied and fruity, often redolent of raspberries, with herbal qualities that sometimes make it seem almost "green." It can easily take a bit of a chill on a hot summer day, but don't serve it actually cold, which would diminish its subtlety.

Here's my note on a good one that we recently enjoyed:

Marquis de Goulaine Marquis de Goulaine 1998 "Le Moulin a Tan" Chinon ($14.99)
Clear cherry in color, rather light for a red, this Chinon offers pleasantly earthy berry and subtle oregano scents, delicate but complex. It's ripe and juicy, light in body but with plenty of fresh-fruit flavor well balanced by crisp acidity. U.S. importer: Premiere Wine Merchants Inc., NYC. (July 12, 2001)

FOOD MATCH: Goes quite well with ham, an entree that's not always an amiable companion with wine.

Thanks for your responses!

Every now and then a topic generates so much interest that it overwhelms my ability to respond. Such was the case with yesterday's commentary on restaurant wine-list pricing, which prompted nearly 200 of you to send E-mail or post comments in our interactive forums. I apologize if I haven't been able to respond to you personally, but I will do my best to catch up with all who asked specific questions. And please be assured that you've given me plenty of material for more on this subject in the future. Thanks!

Express Notes:

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Friday, July 13, 2001
Copyright 2001 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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