Juicy New Cabernet Franc: “Some of the Best-Value Wines in France. $22

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 in the central Loire. The best reds from Chinon are pure and crisp, drink beautifully in their youth, and provide exceptional value. The WSJ’s Lettie Teague writes that “Chinon… produces some of the best-valued wines in the Loire Valley—if not all of France.”

Our most recent addition from Chinon comes from Nicolas Paget, a passionate young winemaker crafting beautiful organic cuvées. Last year we stuck with his excellent whites made from organic Chenin blanc. But this year we were taken with his red as well. An extra year in the bottle has done wonders for the 2016 Paget Chinon, and it’s here just in time for late summer enjoyment.

Raised entirely in stainless steel (no oak), this is pure, juicy Cabernet Franc at its best. Look for notes of wild cherries, burnt earth, minerals, and licorice. The Guide Hachette awarded 2 stars, explaining that in blind tasting it “immediately seduced the jury,” with “charm” and “generosity.” The tannins are pliant and pleasant; the fruit is cool and smooth.

Serve this cool, with fresh goat cheese on crackers.


Paget Chinon 2016
bottle price: $22

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