What would your classification of Loire reds be?

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#351 Post by eweininger » September 6th, 2020, 6:55 am

Btw, did anyone within the Winebid sphere of influence notice the Lenoir Chinons up for auction this week? Opening bids f $130.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#352 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » September 6th, 2020, 10:30 am

eweininger wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 6:51 am
Sean S y d n e y wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 10:09 pm

It seemed to have a decent amount of stuffing, from what I can recall - the fruit profile tended towards the darker end of red fruits but it wasn't jammy, extracted, heavy at all and it had acidity and lift. Everything about it just screamed "classic", because it wasn't a consciously natty wine nor was it burly and unforgiving. It reminded me of a "better" (more complex, more balanced, perhaps more refined) version of the Domaine Guion Cuvée Domaine I had a couple months back. For me, all the best Cabernet Francs have that gravelly, "darker" mineral presence and this one showed it bigtime. I would say the best word to describe it was harmony, which I think can be an attribute a touch difficult to find in Loire reds.

It was basically everything I love about Cab Franc, and nothing I don't (heavy pyrazines, gruff and unyielding, simplistic).
Thanks, Sean. This is helpful. I’ve had some Guion over the years, and they’re certainly not extracted (in fact, if anything, I’d say they tend to be a bit lean). The only bottle of Guiberteau I’ve tried (the 17 normale) was very much a jammy mess, but it sounds like it may have been off, or at least not a good representation of the house style.

I’ve been accumulating a few bottles from the more highly regarded Saumur producers, but at ~1.5x the price of Croix Boisee rouge for the better wines, I’m just not sure what’s worth it and what’s not.
Baudry is so good, and so reasonably priced --- honestly, I frequently feel that Baudry, alone, can quite adequately scratch my Loire C.F. itch. Croix Boisee is, arguably, the pinnacle of QPR in wine.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#353 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 6th, 2020, 11:23 am

eweininger wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 6:55 am
Btw, did anyone within the Winebid sphere of influence notice the Lenoir Chinons up for auction this week? Opening bids f $130.
I saw those and just do an eye roll. Amazing I was buying those for $30 before. They are good but they are not Rougeard-level good. I think they are a lot like Raffault, frankly. And that’s a great thing, at $30.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#354 Post by Julian Marshall » September 7th, 2020, 3:08 am

Thanks to all for the input on Guiberteau's reds. I bought a couple of Motelles 2015 and shall report back sometime soon.

Elliot - I expect you're right that 09s are more ready than 2010s - I just have a lot more 2010s! It's surprisingly hard to find any 09s over here and prices are high.

Concerning Lenoir Chinons, I've never tried any but the prices (which are the same here) are prohibitive so I'm unlikely to be able to do so. They've gone the same way as Domaine du Collier and Clos Nouveau by Gauthier.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#355 Post by eweininger » September 7th, 2020, 10:33 am

Brian--I really enjoy sampling widely across Loire cab franc. But I will say that the Croix Boisee has become a kind of mental yardstick for me. As in, "At only about .5 CBs, this Bourgueil would make a great daily drinker."

Robert--Though my experience is limited to the 05, I certainly agree about Lenoir. I think I have one bottle left, and some day I'll enjoy it very much with a nice dinner, and that'll probably be it for me and Lenoir.

I will say that I'm coming around to the view that Loire cf is becoming a bit tamer over time ("civilized," if you hate pyrazines and funk). Maybe it's climate, maybe it's the market, whatever. Hopefully Olga will keep doing Olga.

Julian--it's really weird to see some of these wines become "collectible". When I got into Loire cf (around 2008), Rougeard was already a thing, but the idea that any of the rest of it might start showing up in auctions and whatnot was pretty hard to imagine.

I have to think that this is entirely or almost entirely a function of the domestic (French) market. I can’t imagine there’s enough demand for Bel Air or Lenoir or any of the others in the rest of Europe (much less North America or Asia) to move prices dramatically.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#356 Post by Julian Marshall » September 10th, 2020, 12:39 am

Elliot - I'm beginning to think that the Clos Nouveau demand might just have been lockdown lunacy, since several lots have remained unsold at auction recently. We'll see!

I opened a couple of wines from 2017 this week, both of which were decanted for about five hours:

Clos Guillot - Bernard Baudry - Chinon 2017

On opening, there was a strong smell of brett and leather, which the decanting mostly dissipated, leaving aromas of red cherry, wild strawberry and dried grass. I was expecting lots of fruit, so the first sip came as a bit of a surprise - quite muted flavours of red cherry and blackberry, a stemmy, unripe-tasting middle section and a reasonably intense finish with strong hints of green. I had to check the bottle to make sure it wasn't a 2013! Over time, the finish gained in length and intensity, with a subtle, understated silkiness I rather liked, but the fruit never got out of second gear.

Les Malgagnes (Amphore) - Yannick Amirault - Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil 2017

I opened this instead of the normal Malgagnes cuvée by mistake - I had wanted to open a wine with the same price tag as the Clos Guillot - this cost 25€ as opposed to 20€ for the Baudry. The Amphore version is a limited edition which sees no oak whatsoever, just an amphora.

The nose was cleaner and much more intense than the Baudry, with fine notes of black cherry, flower petals and some peppercorn. The attack was much richer too, with an immediate hit of black cherry, rising quickly to reveal successive waves of plum, violet, blackcurrant and redcurrant, before a crisp, cool finish. Quite a start and it improved further, showing a wonderful balance between the fruit and the chalky finish. At first, there was a little asperity to the finish but this disappeared gradually. Very impressive indeed.

They were opened on successive evenings and then tasted together last night:

After a brief sip of both it was clear that it wasn't a fair contest at all and I ended up finishing the Baudry before properly tasting the Amirault. There was just no comparison. The Baudry tasted like an old-fashioned Loire red from a poor vintage. I quite enjoyed the silky finish. This could have been a bad bottle because it tasted nothing like the reviews I have seen, but looking on CT I noticed a post which sounded just like mine, so perhaps there were good batches and less good ones. Either way, I will not be going back for more until I have tasted my remaining bottle in another two or three years time.

The Malgagnes, on the other hand, was a revelation. Even better the second evening, it had a purity and clarity to the fruit that I have never encountered before in an Amirault wine. The style is not the red, crunchy fruit of a Germain wine, but more the silky, powerful yet elegant style of a Joguet. The Malgagnes succeeded in tasting both ripe and fresh.

I've always enjoyed Amirault's wines, but this was on another level - it was one of the finest Loire reds I have ever tasted.
Going back to the original idea of the thread, on the strength of this wine, Yannick Amirault deserves to be in a higher category - Second, I would say.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#357 Post by eweininger » September 10th, 2020, 5:34 pm

Julian—very cool that you got to try the Amphora aged versions of the Malgagnes. I’ve never seen it for sale over here. I’d really love to hear your thoughts about how it compares to regular cuvée, whenever you get around to opening that bottle.

Just speculating, I wonder if a part of the reason it surpassed your previous experiences with Amirault is the more recent vintage. I don’t sample every wine every year, but it does seem to me there’s been a change in the house style of late, towards something just a bit richer and more powerful.

Weird about the Baudry. I haven’t tried the Clos Guillot 17, but I’ve had the Grezeaux a couple of times and thought it was great.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#358 Post by eweininger » September 10th, 2020, 5:39 pm

Here’s a note on an interesting producer that I don’t think has received much attention here:

2016 Aurelien Revillot Bourgueil “Sur Les Hauts”
Lots of ripe red and black cherry and plum fruit with some typical savory cf notes in the background. Medium light extraction with a soft texture and unobtrusive tannins. The fruit shows a lot of freshness and plenty of juicy acidity. Although there isn’t a ton of depth, there’s a pretty powerful mineral streak that comes through at the back of the palate and ends up dominating the finish. Nice wine.

I think it’s probably best enjoyed on the young side.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#359 Post by Julian Marshall » September 11th, 2020, 12:01 am

Cheers Elliot!

Amirault - I need to try some more but just on the basis of the bottle tried, I didn't get the impression of more power, but certainly more polish and finesse. There certainly is power but it's subtle and reined in. I bought most of their wines in 2017 so it's going to be fun trying the others.

One thing I didn't mention was how surprised I was at the accessibility of both - I don't normally open young wines and these were both actually enjoyable to drink right now.

I think the Baudry was probably a blip - I'm not drawing any conclusions but at 20€ a bottle I'm not going to buy another just yet.

Thanks for the Revillot tip - this is a young producer I have vaguely heard of but not tried yet.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#360 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 11th, 2020, 5:29 am

C075D715-0FB8-4251-A9C4-25DEC1EFDC4D.jpeg

Coulaine’s Franc de Pied (2015).

Funny that the importer, Skurnick, calls 2015 a “legendary Loire vintage”. I would not; I call it a rather ripe vintage. This is a really nice wine but a bit heavy and overripe to showcase the elegance of Franc de Pied. Mostly on the dark fruit range of the spectrum. I’d buy it again in another year, just can’t say this wine hits the high notes that I expect out of Franc de Pied. (89 pts.)

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#361 Post by Troy Stark » September 11th, 2020, 5:42 am

I really enjoy solar vintages in the Loire (classic vintages, too - they just serve different purposes), so I'm guessing that one would be right up my ally. Thanks for the note.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#362 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 11th, 2020, 5:50 am

When I was drinking it, Troy, I was definitely thinking this would be the type of Cab Franc I would serve to friends that are not regular Loire CF drinkers. I prefer vintages like 2014, but there is definitely a place in my house for some 2015s. It was a very enjoyable wine with my dinner.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#363 Post by Julian Marshall » September 11th, 2020, 6:00 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 5:29 am
C075D715-0FB8-4251-A9C4-25DEC1EFDC4D.jpeg


Coulaine’s Franc de Pied (2015).

Funny that the importer, Skurnick, calls 2015 a “legendary Loire vintage”. I would not; I call it a rather ripe vintage. This is a really nice wine but a bit heavy and overripe to showcase the elegance of Franc de Pied. Mostly on the dark fruit range of the spectrum. I’d buy it again in another year, just can’t say this wine hits the high notes that I expect out of Franc de Pied. (89 pts.)
Thanks - I've got a couple of these - hopefully they'll improve with a few more years in the cellar.

What constitutes a great vintage is very much like beauty - in the eye of the beholder. My experiences of 2015 so far have been promising but I've only tasted entry-level wines. I suspect that I'm going to prefer 2014 overall.

You know Baudry's wines much better than me - have you tried the Clos Guillot 17 yet?

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#364 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 11th, 2020, 6:13 am

I have not, they are in NYC waiting for delivery weather! Still in the 90s down here in sunny Florida. The 2015 Baudry Guillot is delicious.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#365 Post by eweininger » September 11th, 2020, 9:28 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 5:29 am
C075D715-0FB8-4251-A9C4-25DEC1EFDC4D.jpeg


Coulaine’s Franc de Pied (2015).

Funny that the importer, Skurnick, calls 2015 a “legendary Loire vintage”. I would not; I call it a rather ripe vintage. This is a really nice wine but a bit heavy and overripe to showcase the elegance of Franc de Pied. Mostly on the dark fruit range of the spectrum. I’d buy it again in another year, just can’t say this wine hits the high notes that I expect out of Franc de Pied. (89 pts.)
Gotta say that while I’m generally a fan of Coulaine, I thought this wine had an interesting nose but a pretty boring palate. Iirc, it’s from very young vines.

On the vintage question, I’d put in a vote for 2016.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#366 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » September 11th, 2020, 1:03 pm

THanks for the note on the '17 Guillot, Julian. I just picked-up 8 bottles of the '16. Now, I just need to remember to proceed cautiously with '17, unless other data points come out that suggest you simply had an outlier bad experience, which *has* happened to me with Baudry in the past.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm juuuuust starting to panic-buy Baudry ... picked-up 8 bottles of the '16 Croix Boissee, too, and might go back to that well again if it doesn't dry-up first.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#367 Post by Todd F r e n c h » September 14th, 2020, 11:26 am

Julian,

Based partially on your note (curiosity got the best of me) I opened a bottle of the '17 Baudry Chinon Le Clos Guillot and was so pleased. Contrary to your experience, or perhaps because I was expecting much less, I was blown away by the brightness and vibrance of the fruit. Blackberry and cherry, popping on the palate. I expected greenness and got very little. An absolute delight for $27.00.
Julian Marshall wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 12:39 am
Elliot - I'm beginning to think that the Clos Nouveau demand might just have been lockdown lunacy, since several lots have remained unsold at auction recently. We'll see!

I opened a couple of wines from 2017 this week, both of which were decanted for about five hours:

Clos Guillot - Bernard Baudry - Chinon 2017

On opening, there was a strong smell of brett and leather, which the decanting mostly dissipated, leaving aromas of red cherry, wild strawberry and dried grass. I was expecting lots of fruit, so the first sip came as a bit of a surprise - quite muted flavours of red cherry and blackberry, a stemmy, unripe-tasting middle section and a reasonably intense finish with strong hints of green. I had to check the bottle to make sure it wasn't a 2013! Over time, the finish gained in length and intensity, with a subtle, understated silkiness I rather liked, but the fruit never got out of second gear.

Les Malgagnes (Amphore) - Yannick Amirault - Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil 2017

I opened this instead of the normal Malgagnes cuvée by mistake - I had wanted to open a wine with the same price tag as the Clos Guillot - this cost 25€ as opposed to 20€ for the Baudry. The Amphore version is a limited edition which sees no oak whatsoever, just an amphora.

The nose was cleaner and much more intense than the Baudry, with fine notes of black cherry, flower petals and some peppercorn. The attack was much richer too, with an immediate hit of black cherry, rising quickly to reveal successive waves of plum, violet, blackcurrant and redcurrant, before a crisp, cool finish. Quite a start and it improved further, showing a wonderful balance between the fruit and the chalky finish. At first, there was a little asperity to the finish but this disappeared gradually. Very impressive indeed.

They were opened on successive evenings and then tasted together last night:

After a brief sip of both it was clear that it wasn't a fair contest at all and I ended up finishing the Baudry before properly tasting the Amirault. There was just no comparison. The Baudry tasted like an old-fashioned Loire red from a poor vintage. I quite enjoyed the silky finish. This could have been a bad bottle because it tasted nothing like the reviews I have seen, but looking on CT I noticed a post which sounded just like mine, so perhaps there were good batches and less good ones. Either way, I will not be going back for more until I have tasted my remaining bottle in another two or three years time.

The Malgagnes, on the other hand, was a revelation. Even better the second evening, it had a purity and clarity to the fruit that I have never encountered before in an Amirault wine. The style is not the red, crunchy fruit of a Germain wine, but more the silky, powerful yet elegant style of a Joguet. The Malgagnes succeeded in tasting both ripe and fresh.

I've always enjoyed Amirault's wines, but this was on another level - it was one of the finest Loire reds I have ever tasted.
Going back to the original idea of the thread, on the strength of this wine, Yannick Amirault deserves to be in a higher category - Second, I would say.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#368 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 14th, 2020, 11:52 am

Thanks for the note, Todd. When I got your text I had forgotten about Julian’s note. I wonder if his bottle’s Brett didn’t just dissipate but instead actually stripped away some of the fruit freshness, which we all know it can do.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#369 Post by Julian Marshall » September 15th, 2020, 1:54 am

Todd - thanks for taking one for the team too! Sounds a lot better than mine, which would tend to confirm that I just had a bad bottle, especially since I tried a Grézeaux 2017 last night which was singing loud and clear. Lovely wine, with very intense red fruit over a solid, mineral base - in ten years it'll be even better.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#370 Post by erikportanger » September 15th, 2020, 10:56 am

Alan Rath wrote:
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I can think of no other region where one producer (Rougeard) stands so far above all the others. Damn Yankees? Damn Rougeard.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#371 Post by Matt Latuchie » September 15th, 2020, 12:53 pm

eweininger wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 6:55 am
Btw, did anyone within the Winebid sphere of influence notice the Lenoir Chinons up for auction this week? Opening bids f $130.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw those prices.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#372 Post by eweininger » September 16th, 2020, 5:37 pm

Just tried the 2018 Domaine de la Butte “Le Pied de la Butte,” which I believe is the entry level bottling. Classic Loire cab franc, and an amazing wine at its price point.

Also recently opened a bottle of 2015 Domaine de la Chevalerie “Breteche,” which is much more structured. While I don’t want to dilute the superlatives, this is also a really amazing wine that absolutely deserves some slots in the cellar of anyone who’s a serious fan of Loire cab franc.

There’s an extraordinary amount of very good to great wine coming out of the region. I only came in at the very end of the era when the light, underripe, overly green, Brett bombed (or simply dirty smelling) wines were all over the place, but that seems like a million years ago now. I wonder if prices will ever start to spiral, a la (say) Piedmont. Jacky Blot is the new Mascarello? I just don’t see it yet.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#373 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » September 16th, 2020, 5:41 pm

eweininger wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 5:37 pm
Just tried the 2018 Domaine de la Butte “Le Pied de la Butte,” which I believe is the entry level bottling. Classic Loire cab franc, and an amazing wine at its price point.

Also recently opened a bottle of 2015 Domaine de la Chevalerie “Breteche,” which is much more structured. While I don’t want to dilute the superlatives, this is also a really amazing wine that absolutely deserves some slots in the cellar of anyone who’s a serious fan of Loire cab franc.

There’s an extraordinary amount of very good to great wine coming out of the region. I only came in at the very end of the era when the light, underripe, overly green, Brett bombed (or simply dirty smelling) wines were all over the place, but that seems like a million years ago now. I wonder if prices will ever start to spiral, a la (say) Piedmont. Jacky Blot is the new Mascarello? I just don’t see it yet.

Just don’t mention it in the other cab franc. At first I thought the $75 and under request was a joke, apparently not.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#374 Post by eweininger » September 16th, 2020, 6:09 pm

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 5:41 pm
Just don’t mention it in the other cab franc. At first I thought the $75 and under request was a joke, apparently not.
I actually wouldn’t mind trying a few of the more old worldy style ones,...but with “Le Pied” around at $22, it’s pretty hard to get motivated.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#375 Post by Julian Marshall » September 17th, 2020, 1:42 am

eweininger wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 5:37 pm
Just tried the 2018 Domaine de la Butte “Le Pied de la Butte,” which I believe is the entry level bottling. Classic Loire cab franc, and an amazing wine at its price point.

Also recently opened a bottle of 2015 Domaine de la Chevalerie “Breteche,” which is much more structured. While I don’t want to dilute the superlatives, this is also a really amazing wine that absolutely deserves some slots in the cellar of anyone who’s a serious fan of Loire cab franc.

There’s an extraordinary amount of very good to great wine coming out of the region. I only came in at the very end of the era when the light, underripe, overly green, Brett bombed (or simply dirty smelling) wines were all over the place, but that seems like a million years ago now. I wonder if prices will ever start to spiral, a la (say) Piedmont. Jacky Blot is the new Mascarello? I just don’t see it yet.
Thanks for the interesting notes, Elliot - I'm not surprised they were both good.

It does indeed seem like another world since 2014, although some 2011s and 2012s seem to be turning out a lot better than they tasted young. With 2020 set to join the previous six (just writing that is odd!) vintages as very good to outstanding, one wonders when or rather if the run will ever stop.

Prices are fairly stable at the moment and apart from the odd craze for particular wines, I agree that there will not be a massive spiral. There's a lot of wine about and more to come - some producers haven't released 2017 yet. I think demand will rise as more people get into Loire reds, but they're never going to suit all palates, which is just as well!

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#376 Post by Julian Marshall » September 18th, 2020, 12:47 am

I had a well-known producer's entry level wine myself last night:

Olga Raffault - Les Barnabés - Chinon 2016

Quite enjoyable aromas of cherry and flowers, then a light, rather acidic mouthful of high pitched red fruit, mostly cherry, and a crisp finish let down by a strong hint of kirsch. There's a silky touch which is good, only the normal 12.5°, quite refreshing at first, but not much fun after a glass and a half.

I had never tried Les Barnabés before. It cost 9€, which sounds cheap but for someone living in France, isn't. There are lots of other wines at this level or cheaper which are better, so best to stick to Les Picasses and La Singulière. Over here Les Picasses is only 5€ more expensive!

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#377 Post by eweininger » September 18th, 2020, 5:42 pm

Julian Marshall wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 12:47 am
I had a well-known producer's entry level wine myself last night:

Olga Raffault - Les Barnabés - Chinon 2016

Quite enjoyable aromas of cherry and flowers, then a light, rather acidic mouthful of high pitched red fruit, mostly cherry, and a crisp finish let down by a strong hint of kirsch. There's a silky touch which is good, only the normal 12.5°, quite refreshing at first, but not much fun after a glass and a half.

I had never tried Les Barnabés before. It cost 9€, which sounds cheap but for someone living in France, isn't. There are lots of other wines at this level or cheaper which are better, so best to stick to Les Picasses and La Singulière. Over here Les Picasses is only 5€ more expensive!
Thanks, Julian. I’ve wondered about the Barnabes, which is around in the US, but which I’ve never bothered chasing after.

What do you think of La Singuliere? I don’t think I’ve seen it available here.
Elliot

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#378 Post by Julian Marshall » September 19th, 2020, 3:10 am

I've only tasted the La Singulière 2012 so far, last year. I was really impressed - I found it more intense and fruity than Les Picasses, but not at all OTT. I bought some 2014 this year and will open one soon, but I suspect these are long-term wines. It's a bit more expensive than Les Picasses: Les Picasses 2014 is offered direct at 15€, whereas La Singulière is at 19€. So over here, at least, that puts La Singulière in the same price range as Le Clos Guillot by Baudry, for example.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#379 Post by Julian Marshall » September 23rd, 2020, 12:28 am

Somebody, I think it was Howard Cooper, was interested in having a TN on this, which I have been meaning to open for some time:

Clau de Nell (formerly owned by Anne Leflaive) - Anjou - 2014

For once, the term "bouquet" is not a misnomer: the aromas really are like a bouquet, with strong notes of spring flowers, strawberry and red cherry - very attractive indeed.
The attack is along the same lines: fresh tastes of red cherry, strawberry, elderflower and a hint of rose-hip. It's not of the crunchy fruit variety, this is more refined and delicate, the lines are more pastel than boldly drawn, it's the epitome of a truly lovely wine. At this stage, the finish is a little lacking in intensity, as if that would be too vulgar, but there is enough going on to suggest that it will be more persistent in time. It's from a bio-dynamic producer, it tastes like there isn't much sulphur, but it has none of the pitfalls of natural or nearly-natural wines - no faults whatsoever.

This is the perfect wine for a sunny spring day, when the first flowers are out and you can at last eat outside again, but it would be just as good as an antidote for a really cold night in January, because it tastes so full of the joys of spring.

This is the first time I have tried a wine from this producer and as you can tell, I loved it and will be going back for a lot more.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#380 Post by eweininger » September 23rd, 2020, 6:32 am

Wonderful, evocative, almost poetic note, Julian. (Makes me reflexively reach for my credit card!)
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#381 Post by Julian Marshall » September 23rd, 2020, 7:26 am

Thanks Elliot - I'm not on a commission! But I do strongly recommend this as I know (or think I know) that you like this kind of wine.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#382 Post by Richard T r i m p i » September 23rd, 2020, 7:49 am

It's indeed an excellent note Julian. I'm always a little hesitant about Clau de Nell. I've tried it maybe 3x and the wines are well made and always good or better. At $45+, there's a lot of competition among the dozen+ "classified"names previously mentioned. When a wine inspires such poesy....than yes, $45+ is a bargain.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#383 Post by Julian Marshall » September 23rd, 2020, 9:19 am

Thanks Richard! You're right to mention the price. I couldn't help thinking about it as I sipped the wine. I paid 23€ for mine, so for me, that's a little more than Le Clos de Guillot, around the same as a Yannick Amirault Malgagnes, typically less than for any Roches-Neuves and a lot less than for a top Antoine Sauzay or a Joguet. Well, I was pretty happy with how it was placed according to that comparison. It's not the same as any of them, they all have their advantages, but the Clau de Nell had that prettiness which set it apart - but I may have been lucky or very receptive to its charms! The weather probably helped - yesterday summer finally came to a close, so there was something elegiac about the whole experience.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#384 Post by Adrian Burgess » September 23rd, 2020, 1:08 pm

Julian Marshall wrote:
April 17th, 2020, 8:51 am


La Croix Boissée, Chinon - Baudry, obviously, but also Béatrice et Pascal Lambert, Domaine Gouron, and Domaine de l'R (F.Sigonneau), all of which are supposed to be good. I think there are more producers actually.

Do you or anyone else have any experience with Domaine de l'R ? or know which of their curvees comes from from La Croix Boissée ? (Their website doesn't give any hints on this). I ask, partly, as my normal merchant in the UK has a case of the 2012 'Les Folies du Noyer Vert' on their broking list, which peeked my interest and for a price that I would have bought on sight had it been Baudry's Croix Boissée with some bottle age, even if from a perhaps questionable vintage, but also because they might be a domaine worth following... I have done a bit of digging and they seem to be being pushed as a new and up-and-coming organic > biodynamic domaine, with maybe slightly too trendy / hipster targeted marketing. However, I can't find any serious or informative write ups or reviews from any of my normal sources - Here (l'R is perhaps a difficult search term), Jancis, Richard Kelly, Chris Kissack (as of earlier today, thanks to reading this thread).... a few CT reviews for other vintages look promising.

p.s. Hugely informative thread [cheers.gif] ....even if it has rather led me down a Loire cab franc rabbit hole for most of a working day

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#385 Post by eweininger » September 23rd, 2020, 6:39 pm

Adrian Burgess wrote:
September 23rd, 2020, 1:08 pm

Do you or anyone else have any experience with Domaine de l'R ? or know which of their curvees comes from from La Croix Boissée ? (Their website doesn't give any hints on this). I ask, partly, as my normal merchant in the UK has a case of the 2012 'Les Folies du Noyer Vert' on their broking list, which peeked my interest and for a price that I would have bought on sight had it been Baudry's Croix Boissée with some bottle age, even if from a perhaps questionable vintage, but also because they might be a domaine worth following... I have done a bit of digging and they seem to be being pushed as a new and up-and-coming organic > biodynamic domaine, with maybe slightly too trendy / hipster targeted marketing. However, I can't find any serious or informative write ups or reviews from any of my normal sources - Here (l'R is perhaps a difficult search term), Jancis, Richard Kelly, Chris Kissack (as of earlier today, thanks to reading this thread).... a few CT reviews for other vintages look promising.

p.s. Hugely informative thread [cheers.gif] ....even if it has rather led me down a Loire cab franc rabbit hole for most of a working day
Hi Adrian—I’m afraid I don’t know anything about this producer except that their labels can be a bit...much. Arguably, of course.

That said (or for that reason, actually), I strongly recommend you buy some, pop a few corks, and report back.

Fwiw, I do recall reading a rather effusive blog post at Wine Terroirs, in case you haven’t seen it.
Elliot

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#386 Post by Julian Marshall » September 24th, 2020, 12:57 am

Adrian - I hope you at least enjoyed the burrowing! Domaine de L'R's website is weird, to put it mildly. The Croix Boissée cuvée is not even mentioned!

This is a link to a site which sells it (and exports) so you can see what it looks like:
https://www.vins-etonnants.com/rouge-el ... tml?page=5

I've never tried it - I bought one bottle of 2018 to try in a couple of years time. It's cheaper than the Baudry version, at around 21€ here. I've heard good things about it.
If you can buy one bottle of that 2012 cuvée and not a whole case, I would, because 2012 is a bit hit-or-miss. I've had some excellent wines but others which are unripe and unpleasant.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#387 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 24th, 2020, 6:01 am

Marc Plouzeau Chateau de La Bonneliere Chinon Les Cornuelles 2015

Bought a case of this based on my general appreciation for Plouzeau’s wines, especially the Franc de Pied, but mostly because it was $20 and Gilman rated it a 93-94. I think the rating is a bit generous, but for $20, it’s damn enjoyable.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#388 Post by eweininger » September 24th, 2020, 7:31 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
September 24th, 2020, 6:01 am
Marc Plouzeau Chateau de La Bonneliere Chinon Les Cornuelles 2015

Bought a case of this based on my general appreciation for Plouzeau’s wines, especially the Franc de Pied, but mostly because it was $20 and Gilman rated it a 93-94. I think the rating is a bit generous, but for $20, it’s damn enjoyable.
Just finished my last bottle of the 2012. Totally solid, despite the vintage.
Elliot

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#389 Post by Adrian Burgess » September 24th, 2020, 8:17 pm

eweininger wrote:
September 23rd, 2020, 6:39 pm
Adrian Burgess wrote:
September 23rd, 2020, 1:08 pm

Do you or anyone else have any experience with Domaine de l'R ? or know which of their curvees comes from from La Croix Boissée ? (Their website doesn't give any hints on this). I ask, partly, as my normal merchant in the UK has a case of the 2012 'Les Folies du Noyer Vert' on their broking list, which peeked my interest and for a price that I would have bought on sight had it been Baudry's Croix Boissée with some bottle age, even if from a perhaps questionable vintage, but also because they might be a domaine worth following... I have done a bit of digging and they seem to be being pushed as a new and up-and-coming organic > biodynamic domaine, with maybe slightly too trendy / hipster targeted marketing. However, I can't find any serious or informative write ups or reviews from any of my normal sources - Here (l'R is perhaps a difficult search term), Jancis, Richard Kelly, Chris Kissack (as of earlier today, thanks to reading this thread).... a few CT reviews for other vintages look promising.

p.s. Hugely informative thread [cheers.gif] ....even if it has rather led me down a Loire cab franc rabbit hole for most of a working day
Hi Adrian—I’m afraid I don’t know anything about this producer except that their labels can be a bit...much. Arguably, of course.

That said (or for that reason, actually), I strongly recommend you buy some, pop a few corks, and report back.

Fwiw, I do recall reading a rather effusive blog post at Wine Terroirs, in case you haven’t seen it.
Likewise, I find their Labels (and the whole promoting / positioning of the wine) like you...a bit much. It all looks too much like craft / 'Punk IPA' marketing, and that's not something I get on well with gastronomically or gastrointestinally (..tastes awful, makes me flatulent). I hadn't seen the article you linked to - thank you, its more detailed than anything else I have read on the domaine, but still not really convincing one way or another. Will keep an open mind and an eye out for an odd bottle, and report back if I do! (p.s. the hyperlink didn't work for me ? but enough info to find it:https://www.wineterroirs.com/2013/09/do ... loire.html) <- whoever writes this needs a copyeditor

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#390 Post by Adrian Burgess » September 25th, 2020, 4:16 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
September 24th, 2020, 12:57 am
Adrian - I hope you at least enjoyed the burrowing! Domaine de L'R's website is weird, to put it mildly. The Croix Boissée cuvée is not even mentioned!

This is a link to a site which sells it (and exports) so you can see what it looks like:
https://www.vins-etonnants.com/rouge-el ... tml?page=5

I've never tried it - I bought one bottle of 2018 to try in a couple of years time. It's cheaper than the Baudry version, at around 21€ here. I've heard good things about it.
If you can buy one bottle of that 2012 cuvée and not a whole case, I would, because 2012 is a bit hit-or-miss. I've had some excellent wines but others which are unripe and unpleasant.
Hi Julian, yes very much enjoyed it ! An area I have loved and drunk a lot of over the years, but for some reason never read up on in the way I had Burgundy or Bordeaux. It is all that much more fun that - with the odd exception - even an impecunious wine lover like me can still buy most of the wines, if I can track them down. I just had a first order from vins-etonnants delivered earlier this week - v.reasonable shipping to the UK, great range, good prices (and 15% off everything until sometime late this month) - was a little BAMA vertical including a few 1996s for what worked out at about 30 Euro a bottle all in.... and some Clos du Jaugueyron thrown in for good measure - nothing like the prices I am reading about the other side of the pond! Agreed, if it had been available by the bottle, then v.much worth a punt, but so many great Loire cab francs for around £20, that going in for a whole case with an unknown producer in a hit and miss vintage is unnecessary.... need to get back to Vins-etonnats- at least b4 Brexit closes down / complicates these options - thanks for clarifying the curvee.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#391 Post by Julian Marshall » September 25th, 2020, 8:27 am

Cheers Adrian, I'm glad you found it useful and great that you were able to get some goodies from vins étonnants, which is one of my best addresses for wine. Their range contains lots of interesting choices and their deliveries are quick and efficient. I only really got into Loire reds a few years ago after a lifetime of Bordeaux - with the run of fine vintages, they are not quite such an acquired taste as before and once you get into them....you're sunk! If you shop around, you can also find older vintages at auction which are a fraction of the cost of Bordeaux CCs.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#392 Post by eweininger » September 25th, 2020, 6:11 pm

2005 Olga Raffault Les Picasses is very endearing tonight. Mature but in no way old, almost silky in texture, with pretty fruit that has just a hint of ripe sweetness, and tons of cassis. Nothing remotely angular or rustic. Fit for polite company.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#393 Post by Julian Marshall » September 26th, 2020, 1:17 am

Sounds great, Elliot! I have a certain feeling of frustration over Olga Raffaults, because older vintages are impossible to find at auction here. Of the "serious" producers, it's the least available, which is paradoxical, in that my first jaw-dropping Loire red experience was with a Picasses 1990 found in a restaurant 20 years ago - this explains my frustration. So I'm waiting (im)patiently for mine to mature.

One producer of which older vintages are easy to find here is Couly-Dutheil. There are library releases every year and frequent lots at auction, none of which ever command high prices. For any Loire neophytes curious about how Loire reds can mature, they are a godsend. I had a good example last night:

Clos de L'Echo - Crescendo - Chinon 2002

I was forced to decant by a crumbling cork, but it was a good idea anyway, because the first sniff showed that the wine really needed it: very tight and concentrated aromas, of redcurrant, cranberry and cherry, which after a couple of hours has spread out to include hints of Christmas cake and herbs. Bright, fresh tastes of the same, then a really intense, soaring middle section of darker fruits and a fresher, lingering finish of blackberry with just a hint of Chinon chalkiness. In style, this is like a cross between Domaine de Chevalier 2001 and Léoville-Barton 2002, with Loire freshness, or an Alliet Coteau de Noiré with more elegance and finesse. Amazingly youthful, this needs more time and will last at least another decade.

Not quite as good as the 97 or the 01, but very impressive and great value - 24 euros.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#394 Post by Jayson Cohen » September 26th, 2020, 6:33 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
September 26th, 2020, 1:17 am
Sounds great, Elliot! I have a certain feeling of frustration over Olga Raffaults, because older vintages are impossible to find at auction here. Of the "serious" producers, it's the least available, which is paradoxical, in that my first jaw-dropping Loire red experience was with a Picasses 1990 found in a restaurant 20 years ago - this explains my frustration. So I'm waiting (im)patiently for mine to mature.
Where are you, Julian? I recommend calling the domaine. While the US has been the beneficiary of occasional library releases over the years, the reason that has been possible is the domaine holds back bottles. You may be able to simply buy old vintages direct.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#395 Post by Julian Marshall » September 26th, 2020, 8:44 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
September 26th, 2020, 6:33 am
Julian Marshall wrote:
September 26th, 2020, 1:17 am
Sounds great, Elliot! I have a certain feeling of frustration over Olga Raffaults, because older vintages are impossible to find at auction here. Of the "serious" producers, it's the least available, which is paradoxical, in that my first jaw-dropping Loire red experience was with a Picasses 1990 found in a restaurant 20 years ago - this explains my frustration. So I'm waiting (im)patiently for mine to mature.
Where are you, Julian? I recommend calling the domaine. While the US has been the beneficiary of occasional library releases over the years, the reason that has been possible is the domaine holds back bottles. You may be able to simply buy old vintages direct.
Weird as it sounds, they don't sell old vintages here - I tried! I buy their wines direct and asked them. Well, it depends on what you call "old": you can get 2009 and 2010. But the weirder thing is auctions - one single bottle (of 2005) sold in the last four years. It must be really good for nobody to ever want to sell!

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#396 Post by eweininger » September 26th, 2020, 9:09 am

That is weird, Julian. There’s a pretty steady stream of Olga library releases here, with vintages going back fairly far (I bought a 79 at one point, which turned out to be corked). The 89 and 90 have been pretty widely available, at around $80 to $90.

Random question: have you had an opportunity to explore the Touraine region firsthand? I would imagine (but it’s just speculation) that there’d be some restaurants with deep cellars to drink from.

Regarding C-D—they really are hard to figure out. I’ve had some that were great (admittedly, library releases), some that were inoffensive, and some that were terrible.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#397 Post by Julian Marshall » September 27th, 2020, 1:11 am

eweininger wrote:
September 26th, 2020, 9:09 am
That is weird, Julian. There’s a pretty steady stream of Olga library releases here, with vintages going back fairly far (I bought a 79 at one point, which turned out to be corked). The 89 and 90 have been pretty widely available, at around $80 to $90.

Random question: have you had an opportunity to explore the Touraine region firsthand? I would imagine (but it’s just speculation) that there’d be some restaurants with deep cellars to drink from.

Regarding C-D—they really are hard to figure out. I’ve had some that were great (admittedly, library releases), some that were inoffensive, and some that were terrible.
I've been many times to Touraine and was planning on going later this year, but events have conspired against me! It's a great region to visit because you can combine wine tasting, winery visits and château visits. The best wine list I know is that of the Moulin Fleuri, which is near Montbazon, just south of Tours. The setting is beautiful, the food is good but not exceptional, unlike the wine list:
https://www.moulin-fleuri.fr/fr/notre-restaurant
https://www.moulin-fleuri.fr/media/imag ... e_cave.pdf
Their cellar is not quite what it was, they have clearly been forced to reduce it a lot, but there are still some wonderful older wines

Concerning Couly-Dutheil, I think the cut-off point is 2005, which I believe is when Arnaud Couly gained full control. After (and including) 2005, the style is all over the place, going from full-on spoofy one vintage to classic Loire the next, and the quality is variable. But especially before 2003, I've never been disappointed so far and in some vintages, like 2001, the Couly wines have been the best I have tried (I may have been lucky!). Interestingly, Chris Kissack just published a 2005 report of 19 wines, in which Clos de L'Echo came joint second, behind La Croix Boissée, scoring 97/100. I've got some, but I've not tasted it yet and I'm rather wary, since it has 15° alcohol. I did try a Clos de L'Olive, which had a mere 14.5° but didn't enjoy it all.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#398 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 27th, 2020, 3:51 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 1:11 am
Interestingly, Chris Kissack just published a 2005 report of 19 wines, in which Clos de L'Echo came joint second, behind La Croix Boissée, scoring 97/100. I've got some, but I've not tasted it yet and I'm rather wary, since it has 15° alcohol. I did try a Clos de L'Olive, which had a mere 14.5° but didn't enjoy it all.
I've had the Cuvée Crescendo version of Echo, and while it was not particularly Chinon, it was a surprisingly enjoyable effort for a CF having the density of a neutron star.
  • 2005 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Cuvée Crescendo Clos de l'Echo - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon (13.5.2017)
    Made from the fruit sourced from a special parcel located in the Couly-Dutheil monopole Clos de l'Echo, a 17-hectare vineyard. The vines in this parcel are pruned down to produce a yield half to that of the rest of the Clos de l'Echo, resulting in a tremendously concentrated and massive Chinon. The wine is fermented with natural yeasts and macerated with the skins over a period of 30 days, after which the wine is aged partially in stainless steel and partially in new oak barrels. Whopping 15% alcohol.

    Completely opaque, concentrated black-red color with very thin, brick-orange rim. Really massive, concentrated and tremendously ripe nose redolent with opulent aromas of sweet dark berries, raisined fruit, some prunes, a little bit of gravelly minerality and a green note of herbal character. The wine feels as massice and concentrated on the palate with incredibly full body and very extracted, robust flavors of sweet dark fruits, some raisiny character, a little bit of peppery spice and a hint of grilled, even slightly charred bell pepper. The wine is ridiculously structured, even for a Chinon, with high acidity and massive, mouthdrying tannins. With its chewy texture and fruit that feels more sweet than savory, the wine comes across less as Chinon and more as an Amarone made from Cabernet Franc. The sense of concentration here is simply stunning. The finish is very firmly textured and tightly-knit with grippy, astringent tannins and very rich, slightly sweet and complex flavors of raisins, slightly wizened overripe dark plums, peppery spice, some blackberry jam and a hint of cooked bell pepper. The aftertaste is extremely long, chewy and warm with somewhat noticeable alcohol.

    This is by far the most over-the-top Cabernet Franc I've ever had - and I've had some ridiculous Chilean and Argentinian ones. However, unlike these South American counterparts, this wine sports ridiculously massive structure to support its monolithic, extracted fruit, so despite its immense size and weight, this wine doesn't come across as flabby nor tired. On the contrary, even with its Amarone-like concentration, the wine shows that typical freshness and focus of Loire Cabernet Franc with ease. There is very little bell pepper character here and even less of that leafy greenness, but this is still unmistakably Cabernet Franc in style. Despite being over 10 years old now, the wine is still very youthful and primary with very tightly wound tannins. Obviously a wine made for the long haul, so no need to pop a bottle open anytime soon. A monster of a wine that probably is a bit too much for the fans of the classic, lighter Chinon style, but I loved it for what it is. Superb value at 22,10€. (93 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#399 Post by Julian Marshall » September 27th, 2020, 5:41 am

Thanks Otto - that's very useful - my experience of Amarones is limited to all of two bottles (!) but your comparison sounds spot-on. I find it hard to even imagine a 15° Chinon - I had no idea when I bought mine, since the auction site didn't clearly state the levels at the time. I think I shall wait for a really cold day this winter and try one.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#400 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 27th, 2020, 5:47 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 3:51 am
Julian Marshall wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 1:11 am
Interestingly, Chris Kissack just published a 2005 report of 19 wines, in which Clos de L'Echo came joint second, behind La Croix Boissée, scoring 97/100. I've got some, but I've not tasted it yet and I'm rather wary, since it has 15° alcohol. I did try a Clos de L'Olive, which had a mere 14.5° but didn't enjoy it all.
I've had the Cuvée Crescendo version of Echo, and while it was not particularly Chinon, it was a surprisingly enjoyable effort for a CF having the density of a neutron star.
  • 2005 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Cuvée Crescendo Clos de l'Echo - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon (13.5.2017)
    Made from the fruit sourced from a special parcel located in the Couly-Dutheil monopole Clos de l'Echo, a 17-hectare vineyard. The vines in this parcel are pruned down to produce a yield half to that of the rest of the Clos de l'Echo, resulting in a tremendously concentrated and massive Chinon. The wine is fermented with natural yeasts and macerated with the skins over a period of 30 days, after which the wine is aged partially in stainless steel and partially in new oak barrels. Whopping 15% alcohol.

    Completely opaque, concentrated black-red color with very thin, brick-orange rim. Really massive, concentrated and tremendously ripe nose redolent with opulent aromas of sweet dark berries, raisined fruit, some prunes, a little bit of gravelly minerality and a green note of herbal character. The wine feels as massice and concentrated on the palate with incredibly full body and very extracted, robust flavors of sweet dark fruits, some raisiny character, a little bit of peppery spice and a hint of grilled, even slightly charred bell pepper. The wine is ridiculously structured, even for a Chinon, with high acidity and massive, mouthdrying tannins. With its chewy texture and fruit that feels more sweet than savory, the wine comes across less as Chinon and more as an Amarone made from Cabernet Franc. The sense of concentration here is simply stunning. The finish is very firmly textured and tightly-knit with grippy, astringent tannins and very rich, slightly sweet and complex flavors of raisins, slightly wizened overripe dark plums, peppery spice, some blackberry jam and a hint of cooked bell pepper. The aftertaste is extremely long, chewy and warm with somewhat noticeable alcohol.

    This is by far the most over-the-top Cabernet Franc I've ever had - and I've had some ridiculous Chilean and Argentinian ones. However, unlike these South American counterparts, this wine sports ridiculously massive structure to support its monolithic, extracted fruit, so despite its immense size and weight, this wine doesn't come across as flabby nor tired. On the contrary, even with its Amarone-like concentration, the wine shows that typical freshness and focus of Loire Cabernet Franc with ease. There is very little bell pepper character here and even less of that leafy greenness, but this is still unmistakably Cabernet Franc in style. Despite being over 10 years old now, the wine is still very youthful and primary with very tightly wound tannins. Obviously a wine made for the long haul, so no need to pop a bottle open anytime soon. A monster of a wine that probably is a bit too much for the fans of the classic, lighter Chinon style, but I loved it for what it is. Superb value at 22,10€. (93 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
Otto - My Finnish BFF with the aversion to gay sweaters,* you are hands-down one of the finest chroniclers of wines that I have ever seen on a BB. Really enjoy the detail.

Julian - You ain’t too shabby for a royalist. This thread is a fave.

So back to the Kissack list, I really like that 2005 Boissee but not 97 points of love. Where did he come down in the 2005 Joguet stable?

I sorta felt the same way about the 2005 Joguet Clos de la Dioterie as Otto felt abiut that big buy wine. Really quite OTT for a Chinon - definitely over 14.5 - but damn is it good. The Chene Vert and Franc de Pied bottling s from 2005 are much better and quite classic.


* [Nathan Smyth thread reference for those that didn’t get it, lest anyone be offended by the joke]

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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