Tasting notes: In the glass, the wine shows a dark crimson core with purple reflections leading out to the rim. The nose is bursting outright with youthful and pure fruits: wild blackberry, black cherry, black raspberry, plum skin, black currant. The sweet core of fruit is followed by wild herbs, lavender, and crushed stones. The palate is nearly identical to the nose, with more secondary notes of wild black fruit accented by damp violet, tarragon, green tobacco leaf and forest floor. This is the opposite of lean, dried-out Chinon. It’s brimming with energy and finishes incredibly smooth, with soft tannins and bright acidity. This should be consumed over the next few years with a brief 30-minute decant in large Burgundy stems.
Producer: Domaine de Noiré is a standard-bearer of organically farmed, old-vine Cabernet Franc in Chinon, reliably delivering reds that showcase the grape’s juicier, more perfumed side. This aptly named, entry-level bottling, called “Soif de Tendresse” (“thirst for tenderness”), is calling out to anyone who loves juicy fruit, mineral energy, and floral perfume in an affordable, medium-weight package. There’s something about the flavors of this wine that have me thinking of Autumn leaves, the Thanksgiving table, and any number of other occasions when popping a few bottles of this would create a room full of happy people. This is a versatile by-the-case staple for your cellar, as it will continue to deliver immense pleasure over the next few years.
Vineyard and Winemaking: Estate vineyards, facing south, are located on a high-altitude plateau near Chinon, rich in flint stones. These dark stones absorb the heat of the day to release it slowly overnight, helping grapes ripen fully. Vines are 25-50 years old and hand-harvested. Grapes macerate for 48 hours at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks. Fermented on indigenous yeasts at controlled temperatures and aged in tank. Bottled in early spring.
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