Most Loire Valley reds are simple, lightweight, and delicious – made for drinking young and enjoying cool. We love serving Cabernet Francs from the Middle Loire and the Pinot Noirs of Sancerre — they’re perfect accompaniments to summertime fare.
Today’s wine is a sturdier take on the genre. It sports the same mineral-cherry-violet notes as young Cab Franc, but with more intensity and a few extra years in the bottle. We first imported Fabien Demois’s 2015 old-vine Chinon years ago, and were delighted to find the last few cases still available at the domaine.
Now called “Domaine Doulaye,” it’s the same wine as the 2015 Demois many readers have enjoyed over the past few years. We think it’s matured beautifully; the tannins gently underly a sweet patina or violets, berries, licorice, graphite, and earth. The palate plays high red berry notes alongside low inviting earthy ones in perfect harmony.
It’s still summery and fresh, and we plan on bringing some to the beach for our next visit. But the extra few years of patience have added a subtle layer of maturity. It’s more complete and better knit together than just about any $22 wine we know.
Doulaye Chinon Vieilles Vignes 15
bottle price: $22
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