A while ago, I made some New York Strips with an Ancho Chili Sauce I made up, and wanted an interesting foil. As I picked though the cellar, I came across the lovely Domaine Des Roches Neuves "Terres Chaudes" 2006 Samur Champigny from the master winemaker, Thierry Germain in the Loire. I knew it would be an earthy wonder and thought would be interesting to open a great California Cab Franc as well to contrast. I chose the 2007 Pride Mountain Cab Franc.
Old school: Smells of blackberries and limestone. A dark inner core protudes through this wild, unfiltered wine. On the palate, it' s an explosion of dense, dark black fruits and has an intreguing herbal note, maybe even a pleasant hint of brettanomyces which gives it a wild field-fruit character. Acid is pronounced and gives it some nervous energy. Unfined and unfiltered, this one can't be confused with a California Cab Franc.
New School: The 2007 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Franc is suprsingly more spicy on the nose, with no sign of the bret or herbaceousness. On the nose, I do get classic Cab Franc with it's dark boysenberry core and cocoa. But, of course, with the requisite California touch of oak. On the palate, the oak smooths out the texture and adds body.
2006 Damien Lorieux Bourgueil “Cuvée Tuffeaux”
Postscript to this evening: I opened another great Old School Cab Franc that deserves a mention. From one of the new voices in the Natural Wine movement in France, Damian Lorieux, comes his top Bourgueil which he calls "Tuffeaux". I opened up a 2006 last night and it was amazing. The wine is fermented in cement tanks with no touching wood, which adds texture while keeping the pure fruit flavors come through. This is not nearly as earthy or funky as the Domaine Des Roches Samur above from the same year. It is made with a feminine touch. This was one of those wines that I bought a few years ago and I needed to go back and see how much I paid for it. Under $14.00? Just amazing.