Pastoral. The Loire Valley is known as the Garden of France. Its lush rolling hillsides produce nearly every type of wine, from dry to sweet, light to dark, and white to red to sparkling to rosé. One of region’s most distinct styles is an unoaked, juicy Cabernet Franc from the central Loire Valley.
Our favorite source for this style is Chinon, a charming, ancient town that boasts a well preserved 12th century castle. The best reds from Chinon are pure and crisp, drink beautifully in their youth, and provide exceptional value. As WSJ wine writer Lettie Teague wrote recently, “Chinon and nearby towns… produce some of the best-valued wines in the Loire Valley—if not all of France.”
50-year-old vines. Our winemaker in Chinon is the young Fabien Demois, a shy, entrepreneurial fellow who took over his family’s wine production a few years ago and has since gained journalistic praise and more than a few awards. Fabien makes his Chinon “Terra Ambra” from Cabernet Franc planted in the 1960s. The wine is named for the amber-laden stones found in the vineyard. It’s unoaked, dense, and juicy — an unusually concentrated take on a Loire Valley red.
The 2015 Terra Ambra is unusually rich and dark, showing notes of dark chocolate, cool ripe berries, graphite, and a hint of smokiness. The mouthfeel is lively, complex, and croquant (“crackling”), a testament to the increased freshness we often find in organically grown wines. Though this is delicious today, we’re excited to put a few of these in the back of the cellar as well — the 2015’s increased density suggests a somewhat longer-than-usual life.
This is refreshing enough to weather the heat waves of late summer, but dark and crisp enough to match a table of autumn cuisine.
Demois Chinon Vieilles Vignes 2015
Ansonia Retail: $26
6+ bottle price : $22/bot
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