Monday, April 5, 2010

TN: A Chinon, a Bourgueil, and a St.-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil

Here are three recent Loire Cab Francs. If you're interested, The Wine Doctor is the go to source on Alliet and Mabileau. I preferred the Alliet Chinon of the three below, but my girlfriend found it to be too barnyardy. I've yet to find a barnyard I didn't like, and for whatever reason it works well in Loire reds. They don't seem to get the off flavors and truly rancid aromas that Brett-infected wines from the New World develop. Just like a washed rind cheese, they are stinky yet still taste delicious. Not that the Mabileaus had no funk, but their structure lagged significantly behind the Alliet.

  • 2006 Philippe Alliet Chinon - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
    Oh yeah, this is the stuff, so true to its Chinon origin. The bouquet is definitely horsey with a sweet horse sweat quality that's fairly dominant. There are some herbal notes notes, but this is all about the farmyard perfume. On the palate it's medium bodied with excellent structure. Drying but not overwhelming tannins. Juicy acidity. One that draws you back to sip a bit more. It's a food wine, but also a meal in itself as it has savory meaty flavors and a full serving of fruits and veggies. Very minimal oak here, seems quite traditional. Nice finish with some minerality, but really carries on the savory and earthy flavors.

  • 2007 Frederic Mabileau Bourgueil Racines - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Bourgueil
    This followed the '06 Alliet Chinon and probably suffered from the comparison. Grassy (typical of '07, especially sand/gravel terroirs), animal funk, berries and cream on the nose. Soft and creamy on the palate with spicy green notes and citric flavors. Easy to drink and while not flabby, had less structure than I'd hoped. This is good, just not as edgy as I like my Loire Franc.

  • 2006 Frederic Mabileau Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil Les Rouillères - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil
    Bouquet of black cherry, roses, herbal/grassy/tobacco. The herbaceous note seems typical of gravel/sand based Franc. Nice balance on the palate. Medium acid, cherry flavor. Shows earth and olive as well. Mild drying tannin on finish with some medicinal flavor and herbaceous spice. Not much length. Good, right for the price, but not super vibrant or deep. Probably better sooner than later.

    Matt Mauldin said...

    That Phillippe Alliet Chinon sounds really nice. I need to get my adventurous side going again and go buy some Loire Cab Franc.

    My problem is that its tough to find them in my area. Either stores that carry them are inconvenient to me at the time. The one that does (Total Wine) only carries their store exclusive Chinon, which didn't do anything for me.

    CabFrancoPhile said...

    The best option I've found is ordering from places like K&L or Winex. But these are convenient for Californians. Or at least shipping isn't too bad.

    I'm definitely pleased with Alliet. If the basic wine is this good, imagine what he does with his ageworthy cuvees!