From: Chinon, Loire Valley, France
Varietal: Cabernet Franc
Taste: Mouth-watering and zesty with notes of cranberry, red currant, pomegranate, sea spray, and citrus. This vintage is particularly pretty, with a cheery, playful vibe that’ll lift your spirits any time of the year.
Pairing: Rosés like this one are fantastic as aperitifs, and are as comfortable around seafood as they are vegetables and fresh cheeses. Today, we’re enchanted with & thus recommending something along this line: Caramelized Leek, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Tart Recipe, by Grace Elkus. This recipe yields 6 servings, and will take about an hour to prepare and make.
The following is an excerpt from Eric Asimov on Chinon, titled Chinon, a Red With Attitude.
“No subject at Wine School has provoked more interesting conversation than Chinon, a red wine from the Loire Valley of France based on the cabernet franc grape. The questions raised go directly to the mysteries that make wine so enchanting, yet can also make it seem so daunting.
How can different Chinons share so many characteristics yet remain distinct? How can a single Chinon seem on Wednesday to be a completely different wine than it was on Monday? Why is it that a well-chosen wine can make a whole meal better, and a poor match ruin everything? (That, I suggest, may be an issue of state of mind.)
How, in fact, can a humble beverage raise issues of geology, biology, psychology, commerce and, yes, even spirituality?” - E. Asimov
There are three important takeaways from the above.
Chinon = winemaking region within the Loire Valley, France. It’s a place that indicates a style/s of wine.
Cabernet Franc = The principle grape varietal of the region, which produces mostly red wine.
Chinon rosé is a thing! And it’s just as varied and interesting as its reds.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the importance of terroir time and time again, but it’s particularly true here in the Loire Valley. In addition to different methods of winemaking, soil types (which vary greatly here) link taste, approachability, and age-worthiness in a fairly linear fashion. Colin Elliott, who lives in the Loire Valley, where he offers tours, pointed out the significance of the sites.
“A wide range of soil types results in wines which, while similar in their balance of fruit flavors and soft tannins, are noticeably different when grown on sand and gravel, tuffeau limestone, degraded limestone or clay soils,” he wrote. “This is half the fun of the appellation, making it well worthwhile seeking out a range and trying them with different foods.”
Now, on to this wine! Angélique Leon moved to Savigny-en-Véron, in the Loire Valley, taking over her parents’ domain in 2002. She is basically a one woman operation working the vines, harvesting and vinifying the wines in the cellar.
The vineyard is located on the west part of the Chinon appellation, at the junction of the Loire and Vienne rivers. The soils are sandy and gravel with some clay and limestone hilly slopes.
The Estate is made up of 7 hectares of vines producing mainly red wines and a small quantity of rosé (5%). The single grape variety used is Cabernet Franc, average age of the vines is 30- 40 years old.
Each plot of vines is vinified separately, and blending is carried out based on the style of wine produced.
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