I love Loire Valley Cab Franc. Our wine cellar is full of bottles both young and old and you are likely to enjoy a glass (or three) if you hang out at our house for any amount of time. One of my favorite values from the region is Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil “Trinch!”. Each and every vintage, I feel like I can rely on getting a delicious, pure Cab Franc.
I recently uncorked the 2015 vintage of “Trinch!” for the first time and was once again drawn in by its pureness and honesty. The nose offers up aromas of dark fruit with hints of smoke. The palate is fresh and light showing off bright blueberries & strawberries that mingle with herbal nuances. Vibrant acidity and super easy to drink. Serve with a slight chill and watch it disappear quickly!
Since moving to the Bay Area, old wine has become much more accessible. When Brandon and I venture into San Francisco, we try to swing by wine shops that have a nice selection of old wines (especially ones that aren’t too much of a burden on the wallet). One of the latest old wines we have fallen in love with is Moulin Touchais.
Moulin Touchais was founded in 1787 and is known for producing a late harvest Chenin Blanc that is aged for a minimum of 10 years. The 1981 vintage has aged beautifully over the last 35 years. The enamoring, copper-colored wine offers up aromas of citrus, honey, and spice. The palate is medium-bodied with tastes of grapefruit, honey, citrus rind, and caramel. It still has a solid backbone of acid and is a pleasure to drink! I can’t wait to explore more vintages!
I love Chenin Blanc and you can pretty much guarantee I will buy any geeky bottle I find on the shelf. The minute I came across 2014 Frantz Saumon “la Petite Gaule du Matin”, a Pét-Nat made from 100% Chenin Blanc, I knew it would be coming home with me! The wine hails from the Loire Valley in France and is made with minimal intervention in the winemaking process.
Frantz Saumon “la Petite Gaule du Matin” offers up floral and citrus aromas. The wine has light, refreshing bubbles that easily awakened my tastebuds. At first sip, tastes of grapefruit are dominant. After the wine opens up a bit, tastes of minerals, wildflowers, and stone fruit begin to emerge. This wine is notably dry for a Pét-Nat, vibrant, and incredibly delicious. Grab a bottle if you can find it! ($23)
I have been on a Gamay kick lately. I am uncorking bottles that are young and fresh along with bottles that are more serious and Burgundy-like and have been mesmerized by both. Last weekend, I picked up a bottle of Le Telquel because it caught my eye (yes, it’s Gamay but I am pretty sure the cute dog on the label may have also swayed my decision). Le Telquel comes from the Loire Valley in France and is imported by Louis/Dressner Selections. It is made by Thierry Puzelat, who makes his wine with as little intervention as possible. Something about this Gamay just did it for me…
Le Telquel is a simple wine yet the purity is complex. The aromas are intriguing and the palate is musky, bright, and fresh. There are tastes of juicy red berries and spice that are entwined with racy acidity. Pure and unadulterated. This Gamay is definitely heading to the top of the list of my personal favorite wines for under $20! Serve slightly chilled and allow time to decant. (12.5% alcohol, $17)
I want to mention one more wine from the Return to Terroir tasting because it also landed at the top of my list. Sebastien Riffault “Les Quarterons” 2011 Sancerre reminds me of why I really enjoy drinking Sancerre. Here are a few of my notes from the tasting:
100% Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre. Certified biodynamic, unfined, and unfiltered. 13% alcohol. Retails for $25.
Sebastien Riffault “Les Quarterons” 2011 Sancerre opens with lovely floral aromas. The mineral-driven palate is beautifully balanced with notes of lemon, grapefruit, tart green apples, and lemongrass. Zippy acidity and a refreshing finish. This wine is so delicious, you will not want to set your glass down!
Cabernet Franc…a beautiful, expressive grape that I love to explore…especially in the summer months. I enjoy grabbing bottles from Loire Valley because they often offer a great QPR. Last week, I picked up a bottle from Domaine Laporte and it definitely did not disappoint!
This Cab Franc opens with aromas of red berries and hints of earth and spice. The palate is light with nice acidity and delicate, red fruit. There are elegant tastes of cherry, cranberry, and strawberry with a bit of black pepper and earthiness. Straightforward and delicious! ($14, 12.5%)
My Wine Rating – B+
Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with lamb, quail, or a burger topped with mushrooms.