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K&L Staff Recommendations
Wine Spectator: "A soft sparkler, featuring cherry, peach and strawberry notes, with a pillowy finish. Drink now. (Web Only—2013)" K&L Notes: A wine with tiny, long-lasting bubbles, Deligeroy's Cremant de Loire Rosé is a lovely gleaming pink, enticing with a delicate, nervy nose and aromas of fresh red fruit. It's lively on the attack and has lovely aromatic intensity and brightness. Well-balanced in the mouth, this sparkler is enhanced by a fresh but subtle finish. The wine is stored for at least 12 months on racks in freestone cellars before disgorging to make incomparably fine bub... Read More »
This is a fresh, snappy berry-driven rosé with delicate floral notes. It's bright and crisp, delicious with or without food. Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations. They are a small artisanal producer that oversees every stage of the production from start to finish themselves. They have roughly 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc spread out through the Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil regions. They practice sustainable farming, and each and every vine gets special attention throughout the year. Vines of an average age of 25 years are... Read More »
Joël Taluau is a fabulous grower in St. Nicolas de Bourgueil known for making some of the purest expressions of Cabernet Franc in the Loire, which are unmarred by the intrusion of oak. He was also the first producer in the appellation to begin domaine bottling. These days, Joel makes wines with the help of his son-in-law, Thierry Foltzenlogel. Their "Expression" comes from vines up to 35 years old, planted on a hillside with clay and limestone. The terroir is perfect for a youthful expression of Cabernet Franc that's immediately drinkable and fresh, with... Read More »
Always a favorite value-priced Chinon, perfect for everyday drinking. The color of polished garnets, it has bright red and black fruit aromas and flavors, a hint of a violet and pepper, and a vein of spice threaded carefully through from start to finish. Perfect with charcuterie, cool weather braises or grilled lamb chops with gremolata.
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Delicate scents of heather and elegant citrus notes carry a kiss of sweetness through this wine. The flavors are all withheld, the finish quiet and pretty, focused on mineral and floral notes. This should develop well over the next several years." (4/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The cherry-colored regular 2012 Chinon Cabernet Franc has a lovely clear and fresh acerbic cherry aroma mixed with raspberries. It is a light to medium-bodied, fruit-driven, silky textured, refreshing red wine with a brisk acidity, ideal for a summer lunch at high noon or with some snacks in the afternoo ...Read More »
Joël Taluau is a fabulous grower in St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, known for making some of the purest expressions of Cabernet Franc in the Loire. All his hand-harvested cuvees are based on vine age and soil composition, and the wines are fermented and aged in stainless steel with a light fining and no filtration before bottling. The Vieilles Vignes, from a single plot planted in 1934, has power, depth and grace; this, their flagship wine, will improve for the next 7-9 years but can be enjoyed now for those of you who like a mouthful of wine.
The Château du Hureau is located in the small town of Dampierre sur Loire, about four miles east of Saumur and 15 miles west of Chinon. The Château itself is an impressive sight, with its 18th-century Mansard roof and octagonal tower topped by a boar-headed weathercock, from which the domaine takes its name--a hureau is an old, solitary wild boar. Behind the Château sits the winery carved out of the limestone cliffs in the 13th century and overlooking the Loire river. For wine lovers, the cave is even more impressive than the Château, with numerous paths... Read More »
93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep, dark ruby with a dense core. Black cherry and blueberry aromas are complemented by cool, chalky verve. At once lush and bright, showing sublime breadth to the dark berry and mineral flavors. This stylish wine saturates the palate on the long finish, with suave tannins and a hint of herbal coolness pleading for patience. With only 12.5% alcohol, this Chinon proves that Cabernet Franc does not need to be overripe to bring forth great wines." (12/2014) K&L Notes: One of Chinon's oldest and most famous sites, Clos du Chêne Vert is located in the actual town of Chin... Read More »
90 points Antonio Galloni: "Glass-staining ruby. Complex, seductively perfumed aromas of cherry, cassis, pipe tobacco and potpourri, along with a smoky topnote. Juicy, spicy and penetrating, showing very good clarity to its dark berry, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors. The intense, clinging, smoke-tinged finish shows a hint of floral pastilles and suave, slow-building tannins." (6/2015)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A blend of 58% Cabernet Franc and 42% Merlot, the 2012 Justification was aged 19 months in 47% new French oak. It's an impressive, full-bodied, nicely structured Bordeaux blend that gives up ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Wine Spectator: "Offers a racy feel, with graphite framing the black cherry, tobacco and sage notes, melding pleasantly through the finish. (Web Only—2013)" K&L Notes: Yet another fantastic example of what happens when you have a winemaker who cares about the land, the vines, the region and the ancient craft which they were born to do. Frédéric Mabileau has just 27 hectares under vine across the appellations of St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Bourgueil, Saumur and Anjou in the Loire Valley, all farmed organically since 2007. Frederic works mostly with his passion varietal, Cabernet Franc w... Read More »
99 points James Suckling: "The clarity and beauty to this wine are breathtaking. The aromas of peaches, orange peel, blueberries and blackberries are truly amazing. Full body, phenomenal depth of fruit and silky tannins. There is polish and finesse, yet the strength is monumental. Better in 2018 but why wait? Demeter certified as biodynamic." (8/2015)94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Duemani has really come together over the last year, but it is still going to need more time for the firm tannins to soften. Today, it is the wine density that stands out most. Pomegranate, raspberry and spice notes abound in ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This is produced all in stainless steel, solely from Cabernet Franc that is grown on a limestone slope. It has a rich ruby color and excellent structure. A nice fruity style of Chinon, this value-priced wine has a subtle peppery spice, ripe dark berries and a soft, chalky mineral character that really makes the fruity core come to life. There are rich tannins on the finish and a juicy freshness throughout. I swear to you that you can actually taste the glow of the summertime sun right in this bottle. Absolutely stellar while enjoying a burger right off ... Read More »
Joël Taluau is a fabulous grower in St. Nicolas de Bourgueil known for making some of the purest expressions of cabernet franc in the Loire. All is hand harvested, cuvees are based on vine age and soil composition. Then the wines are fermented and aged in stainless steel, with a light fining and no filtration before bottling.
This is an everyday Cabernet Franc from organic and biodynamic growers Pierre and Catherine Breton. (Their name, coincidentally, is also the local word for Cabernet Franc.) Made from their younger vines grown on gravelly soils, this is the perfect introduction to this producer's range--youthful, with bright cherry fruit, spicy black pepper and savory herbs. Delicious!
A glowing pink Cabernet Franc icewine, something sweetly different from Canada's icewine specialist. Originally developed in the cool wine regions of Germany in the mid-1700s, Icewine is ideally suited for Canada's Niagara peninsula and the Okanagan Valley's climatic conditions. The grapes are left on the vine well into the winter months. The resulting freezing and thawing of the grapes dehydrates the fruit, and concentrates the sugars, acids, and extracts in the berries, thereby intensifying the flavours and adding complexity to the wine made from it. ... Read More »
J.M. Jean-Maurice Raffault’s famed Chinon estate is now run by his son Rodolphe. The family has been vignerons in Chinon since 1693 and the estate now comprises 40 hectares spread over 6 communes. Raffault prefers to harvest his cabernet Franc as late as possible and then vinifies each parcel separately. The fermentation process can last up to a month and he incorporates a daily pump over for maximum extraction of flavor and color. Then the wines get to rest in Bordeaux casks inside his 54 degree limestone cellar while the magic happens.
An average vine age of fifty years old and from the outstanding vintage of 2009 - especially good for Cab Franc. Ripe fruit with good depth and concentration throughout. Ripe tannins and fantastic length. Drinking nice now but, can be cellared for many more years. Over all, pretty wine with a darker core. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Bretêche is higher up the slope than Galichets (recommended below), its soils layering clay and limestone over tuffeau. The Caslot family ferments their wines without added yeast and ages them for two or more years in 400- to 500-liter oak casks. This is an ambitious wine, powerfully extracted, clean in its highlights of blue fruit, warm and ripe in the finish. It’s a mouthwatering, juicy pleasure, suited to aging or to decanting for roast meats." (4/2015) Antonio Galloni: "Medium ruby. Floral aromas of redcurrant, graphite and tobacco. Supple on the attack, then juicy on t ...Read More »
Catherine and Pierre Breton are the real life bon vivants vignerons of lore. They are passionate about what they do, they enjoy sharing it with others, and they entertain with a generosity and charm. That they make great wine with such integrity makes our appreciation of them complete. The Bretons farm eleven hectares of vines just east of Bourgueil in the village of Restigné. They produce Chinon and Bourgueil, as well as a bit of Vouvray, creating honest wines for both early consumption and longer aging. The Bretons first introduced biodynamic practices... Read More »
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "This nicely defined, clean-as-can-be middleweight gets very high marks for its balance and its tight line of lingering, raspberry-like, tea-accented fruit, and it stands apart in the varietal crowd as being a little less brawny and a little more refined than is the norm. It is enjoyable right now and will find an easy place at the table, but it will keep comfortably and should grow a bit thanks to its very careful construction." (4/2015)89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Franc Two-Fourteen is the clone, which is of Loire Valley origin. A real juicy, crunchy style of wine ...Read More »
Cédric Garreau began his modest 2.7 acre domaine in 2010 with a commitment to organic farming. That year, he secured two parcels of established, organically farmed vineyards. The Gar'O'Vin Anjou Rouge is 100% Cabnernet Franc which was farmed with small yields of 30 hl/ha and an emphasis on quality. It was macerated and fermented on native yeasts for a period of three weeks with no chapitalization before being aged for 10 months in barrique. It offers an aromatic profile with red fruit and excellent mouthfeel and fine tannins.
100% Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Philippe Pichard-Jourdan has farmed biodynamically since 2000. This rosé is aromatic and marked by notes of fresh wild strawberry with a clay-like minerality.
92 points Antonio Galloni: "There is so much to like in Crocker & Starr's 2012 Cabernet Franc. A warm, resonant wine, the 2012 blossoms on the palate with tons of pure varietal character. Grilled herbs, mocha, cedar and new leather are all laced together in an absolutely exquisite wine endowed with gorgeous resonance and depth. The flavors are broad and expansive throughout. I expect the 2012 will offer a wide drinking window of pleasure over the next 10-15 years, perhaps longer. (AG)" (10/2014) 90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Moderately saturated bright ruby. Much sweeter on the nose and palate than the 2011 versi ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Pure and fresh, with a savory note framing the white cherry and strawberry core notes. Offers a sleek finish. (Web-2015)" K&L Notes: This is a fresh, snappy berry-driven rose with delicate floral notes. It's bright and crisp, delicious with or without food. Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations. They are a small artisanal producer which oversees every stage of the production from start to finish themselves. They have roughly 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc spread out through the Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil regions. They practice sustain... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Features dark olive and singed juniper notes around the core of black cherry and plum fruit. A light charcoal hint holds the finish, though the structure is modest overall. Drink now. 60 cases imported. (Web Only - 2015)" K&L Notes: From vines over 25 years old planted mid-slope in soils that are composed of clay and sand. Aged in neutral barrels and tank, this beautifully balanced Cabernet Franc has a dark, brooding nose of plums, minerals and some berries. Fairly thick on the palate, the ripe tannins are quite present, but also coated by a fairly large dose of red... Read More »
This bottling is the finest red wine bottling from Domaine Breton and a top expression of Loire Valley Cabernet Franc. The single hectare of old vines in Bougueil yield a mere 20 hectoliters/hectare annually. Breton practices strict organic and biodynamic viticulture with a focused eye on terroir in this particular bottling. Les Perrières was bottled after a full two years in barriques.
Good, honest Chinon in a box - it doesn't get much better than this! We love this fruity, easy-drinking Cabernet Franc from husband and wife team Pascal and Beatrice Lambert. Not only is it organically certified and free of sulphur additives, but it is elegantly balanced and a great match for a variety of foods, from light picnic fare and cheeses to heartier smoked and grilled meat dishes.
93 points Antonio Galloni: "Dark red cherries, plums, mint, sweet spices, herbs and juniper berries meld together in the 2011 Red Blend Labor of Love. Espresso, menthol tar and licorice notes add complexity on the layered, expressive finish. The 2011 is 75% Cabernet Franc, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot, all from Martinez Vineyard on Pritchard Hill. (AG)" (11/2013) 89-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Proprietary Red Labor of Love is composed of 75% Cabernet Franc, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot. Floral, blue, red and black fruit aromas emerge from this dense purple-colored 2011. Not the ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
In 2008, the famed Loire Valley vigneron Jo Pithon, his wife Isabelle, Isabelle's son Joseph Paillé and his wife Wendy, joined together to start Pithon-Paillé--a négociant not unlike those in the Rhône Valley or Burgundy. "Grand Monts" is an organically grown, ripe, full yet fresh Loire Cab Franc. From the domaine: "This Bourgueil comes from slopes descending into the Loire River close to the town of Benais. This is considered the most beautiful terroir of the appellation. Old vines grow on thin top soil on top of tuffeau. The wine is deep, concentrated ... Read More »
Notes about the Winery: "The Domaine de l'R is a fairly new, it was founded by Frédéric Sigonneau in 2007, and it is already counted by Chinon amateurs among the ones where cabernet franc shines. Frédéric and his parents have been living next door to Bernard Baudry, he was a childhood friend of Mathieu, Bernard's son. He then worked at Fabrice Gasnier, an organic (and now biodynamic) vigneron 4 km away. Then at the end of the wine school in 2002 he went to Spain where he stayed 2 years, working on biodynamicly-farmed ungrafted vineyards. Back in France... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Quite dark, featuring roasted bay leaf and charcoal flavors running through a core of dark plum and blackberry fruit. Stays fresh despite the profile, with a sweet tapenade note enlivening the finish. Not for everyone." (8/2013) K&L Notes: Savory Loire Cabernet Franc from an historic property (the château dates to the 11th century).
100% Cabernet Franc. Biodynamically farmed and certified organic. La Folie comes from plots in the village of Champigny itself with vines ranging from 15-50 years in age. Clay and limestone soils. Hand-harvested. Native yeast fermentation in 50 hl concrete vats for 4 weeks. Aged for 12 months in half 38 hl foudre and half in 4-5 year old barriques. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
91 points Wine Spectator: "Mature, with softening blackberry and cassis fruit caressed by elegant spice, toast and mineral notes. Plush, smoky finish allows the fruit and toast to mingle nicely." (5/2006)
Antoine Foucault (yes, son of Chalry Foucault of Clos Rougeard) and Caroline Boireau found the estate in 1999. Located in the village of Breze their 6 hectares of vineyards (Chenin Blanc & Cabernet Franc only) are farmed on the biodynamic principals and are given nothing but optimum attention all the while letting Mother Nature do her thing. The wines are all fermented and rested barrel, of various ages and types, for two to three years and only bottled when the wine is ready. Domaine du Collier represents hard work and simplicity at its finest. These ar... Read More »
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby-red. Aromatic nose combines black fruits, licorice, violet, wild herbs and graphite. Densely packed and juicy, with nicely integrated acidity and lively spice and floral notes giving verve to the mid-palate. Here, too, the percentage of new oak is down from past vintages. This firmly built wine finishes with ripe tannins and lingering sweetness. I like this style." (5/2011)90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "The Pride winemaking hand is hard to miss here, and its mix of heady ripeness and very rich oak makes this fairly extravagant wine one of the more outgoing and expressi ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
This goes thru a long cold soak in small amphora and then also fermented and aged (12mnths) in amphora. Clos de l'Elu is an older property which was taken over in 2008 by Thomas Carsin and Gregoire du Bouexic. It is located in the small village of Saint Aubin de Luigne not too far from the city of Angers. Under the inspiration of growers such as Jo Pithon they have converted all of their holdings over to biodynamic farming and continue to acquire vineyards and convert as they grow. These wines are at the higher end of what the all too often Anjou region ... Read More »
Antonio Galloni: "Deep ruby. Aromas of redcurrant, dried flowers and graphite. Suave and juicy on the palate, with bitter cherry fruit complicated by notes of tar, tobacco and leather. Finishes firmly tannic, with enticing spices lingering on the aftertaste." (12/2014)
In 2008, the famed Loire Valley vigneron Jo Pithon, his wife Isabelle, Isabelle's son Joseph Paillé and his wife Wendy, joined together to start Pithon-Paillé--a négociant not unlike those in the Rhône Valley or Burgundy. The "Dessus Narçay" is sourced from 50-year-old Cabernet Franc vines, in the process of being converted to organic farming, in the commune of Cravant les Coteaux. A bright, vibrant Cab Franc from Chinon, a great picnic red for cold cuts.
Rocfontaine's Saumur Champigny rouge is sourced from 15-20 year-old Cabernet Franc vines planted in calcareous clay. Grapes are hand-harvested, and the individually managed lots are fermented quickly to extract a generous fruit profile without hard tannins. The result is a fine Loire red, which happens to be wonderfully drinkable and food-friendly in its youth.
A red blend with 65% Cabernet Franc--in Oregon? This component comes from the Quady North Vineyard in the Applegate Valley AVA of Southern Oregon, which is much warmer than the Pinot Noir-friendly Willamette Valley. Still, it is a lower-alcohol wine of just 12.6%, from Loire clone Franc blended with Gamay. The winery's vintage note: "We are beyond pleased with the result from our 3rd iteration of the Béton blend. The Cabernet Franc again stands out and is somewhat richer than last years wine, but still very finessed at 12.6% alc. We are reminded of the m... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
92 points Wine Spectator: "Nice robust beam of black currant, fig and olive flavors, with briary tannins, toast, tobacco and mineral driving the finish. A broad-shouldered Bourgueil." (11/2006)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Right Bank (67% Cabernet Franc and 33% Merlot) has been a perennial winner from this Conn Valley vineyard since it made its debut as Gus Anderson’s homage to the Right Bank wines of Pomerol and St.-Emilion. The dense ruby/purple-colored 2012 Proprietary Red Blend Right Bank offers mocha, white chocolate, plum, black cherry and blackcurrant characteristics, medium to full body, and an opulent, round, seductive style. This fleshy, complex red can be drunk young or cellared for 12-15+ years. (RP)" (10/2014)92 points Antonio Galloni: "A big step up from the 2011, the 2012 Right Bank ...Read More »