Once again, it's Wine Blogging Wednesday and this month's host needs little introduction for anyone that has followed the wine blog and vlog scene of the last couple of years, Gary Vayerchuk. His reviews are sometimes sweet, sometimes salty, usually peppery, and always entertaining. The theme for the month? Cab Franc from France, which to me says Loire Valley, specifically Chinon.
I'm hoping that I picked one that is a little less well known, at least for those of us who shop at Kermit Lynch, who always has a good supply of the Charles Jouget Chinons. Instead of a Jouget, I picked a wine from another maverick winemaker, Bernard Baudry. Those of you in the trade that live in Chicago or New York can meet him on April 14 (Chicago) and April 15 (NYC). Check here for details.
This is made from the oldest planted parcel of his three wines, with 50 year old vines on average. It spends 1 year in oak that is is 3-5 years old for a dose of that old wood funk. Tasting notes:
This wine exhibits the classic character of Loire Cab Franc - warts and all. By this I mean that many Loire reds suffer from a wild weediness that when consumed on its own distracts from the flavor of the fruit. What every bistro owner in Paris knows though, is that when consumed with food, especially something like classic Steak Frites with lots of pepper, the general herbaceousness can compliment fat and spice.
The first thing that hits your nose is smoke, sweet old oak, wet stones, and maybe a little wet sock. With an hour or so in the glass, these give way to more pepper, mushroom and forest floor.
On the tongue, it's got plenty of acid and a very Old World kind of dried fruit flavor. It tastes more mature than its 4 years and has little in the way of the fresh fruit of say, a Spring Mountain AVA Cab Franc from Napa or even a Cab Franc from Bordeaux. It's really its own beast, so open it expecting something light in body, lifted with herbs, and plenty of tannins.