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Posts Tagged ‘Chinon’

Last night I wanted some comfort — but I didn’t want to make the effort to try and put comfort on a plate. It was a long week and I didn’t have the energy. So I went downstairs and tried to find the best bet in a bottle. I opted for the Beaumont from Catherine and Pierre Breton. I have never had a wine from them that I didn’t enjoy and the 04 Beaumont delivered it in spades. Deep purple in color. Instant satisfaction from aromatics of dark fruit, violet, earth, black olive with smoke, herbs and some funk. Ripe, velvety and textured on the palate. A interesting mash of black and green — black cherry, blackcurrant and black olive with green olive, green vegetable, tobacco leaf and herbs.

A lot of wine and comfort at $13 a bottle. Strongly recommended. Imported by Kermit Lynch.

The 2005 Breton Beaumont was an LA Times pick of the week.

Other wines from Catherine & Pierre Breton:
Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Les Perrières 2005
Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Nuits d’Ivresse, 2004
Charles Joguet

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img_08841Alice Feiring wrote about this wine — and I figured I better get my hands on a few bottles after she pronounced it wine of the year.

I purchased it from Chambers Street Wines for $10.99 a bottle. As Alice noted in her post, Chambers Street direct imports the wine — and you can only find it at their store.

The nose is pure Chinon, Loire — great aromatics with perfumed violet and berry with a bit of earthiness, pencil shavings and  and some herbaceousness. On the palate, it is a bit rustic as Alice notes, but also displays great purity as well. I was expecting it to bring the funk, and it did have some funk, but not your farmers market in a bottle cab franc. Loaded with plum, some green pepper — and as Alice noted, green tea — probably the best example of a flavor profile that includes green tea you will ever find in a wine — the green tea component really comes through. Quite a lovely bottle and an interesting bottle as well — not to mention an outstanding value at $10.99 a bottle.

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Being that I am a fan of Bernard Baudry’s Cabernet Francs and a rosé fan, I was very excited to find a few bottles of his rosé.

Baudry was born into a family of winemakers in Cravant. He studied oenology at the Lycée de Beaune before returning to the Loire. He first worked as viticultural advisor, before going out his own. In 1982, he established a 2 hectare vineyard in Chinon. Today, he has more than 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc.

A new generation of Baudry’s has joined the ranks as well. Bernard is now joined by his son Mattheiu, who has studied in Mâcon and Bordeaux with experience in Tasmania and California. The estate has a reputation for being carefully managed, with debudding to control yields and manual harvesting. Baudry produces two white cuvées in limited quantities, five separate cuvées of Cabernet Franc and this rosé of Cabernet Franc.

A beautiful, pinkish watermelon in color. Cherry blossom, strawberry and rose water aromatics. On the palate, juicy watermelon, strawberry with some tartness and white pepper. Good acidity with a nice clean finish. Medium bodied and more firm than delicate.

Certainly an interesting and very well made rosé that I am very pleased to have on hand, but I don’t think I would include this in my list of absolute favorite rosés. I would strongly recommend any of his Cabernet Francs and would recommend this as well albeit with less enthusiasm. The wine retails at $16 to $18 dollars a bottle. Imported by Louis/Dressner.

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Year after year, many consider this to be one of Chinon’s most admirable domaines. Baudry claims that his 2005 vintage is the best ever.

This is another great example of Chinon, exhibiting classic Chinon characteristics. Violets and floral on the nose, nice aromatics. Currant and boysenberry on the palate with some minerality, earth and tobacco. Perhaps not as opulent and floral as the Breton Beaumont, but I don’t think I am capable of saying one is a better wine than the other. Both wines are extremely enjoyable — and priced at about $19 a bottle, this is a great value as well. Recommended.

Another great selection from Kermit Lynch.

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Chinon is situated on the left bank of the Loire river and along the Vienne river, at the heart of the Loire Valley. Chinon produces mostly red wine, based on Cabernet Franc grape variety known as Breton in the region. Chinon produces more than 6 million bottles of wine annually.

100 years ago, wine from Chinon was regarded with the same esteem as Margaux.Though Chinon is popular in France, its charms have been diminished in the United States — and we seem to be fixated on Bordeaux, the Rhone valley and Burgundy.

The Breton is beautiful ruby in color. Lots of violets on the nose. On the palate, lush, tender and silky with black cherry, currant and some pomegranate with a bit of forest floor, nice herbaceousness and minerality. Lots of fruit and very approachable. This would be delicious with lamb, stews, an omelet (preferably served at lunch or dinner), ham or any bistro fare.

This wine is an incredible value priced at under $13. For me, this was one of the best wines for the money in recent memory.

Strongly recommended. The wine is imported by Kermit Lynch.

The 2005 Breton Beaumont was an LA Times pick of the week.

Other wines from Catherine & Pierre Breton:
Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Les Perrières 2005
Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Nuits d’Ivresse, 2004

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