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K&L Staff Recommendations
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. They have roughly 30 hectares of Cabernet Franc spread out through the Bourgueil and St-Nicolas de Bourgueil regions. They practice sustainable farming, and each and every vine gets singular attention throughout the year. Vines of an average age of 25 years are planted in s... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "A soft sparkler, featuring cherry, peach and strawberry notes, with a pillowy finish. (JM, Web—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 bubbles. The fr... 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 »
Made from Cabernet Franc grapes grown on a clay-limestone hillside, this fruity and aromatic wine drinks wonderfully, even when the wine is very young. The Cabernet France grapes are completely destemmed and vatted for 12-18 days, depending on the year. Fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. The result is is an elegant, round and easy-to-drink wine that smells of violets and tastes of heaven!
Maison Couly-Dutheil is undeniably one of the finest estates of Chinon, with eighty acres of prime Chinon vineyards as well as seven hectares of Saumur and Saumur-Champigny. The estate's Chinon holdings are impressive indeed as they spread over three distinct Chinon terroirs: Sand and gravel along the Vienne River which produce light and fruit driven wines, siliceous slopes and plateaus which impart a certain finesse and elegance to Chinon; and finally clay and limestone slopes which produce Chinon's most serious and profound wines. The Domaine's masterp... Read More »
Cabernet Franc from Italy? Why, yes! The Blason Cabernet Franc comes from pebbly limestone which is rich in iron oxides. This helps to create the intriguing and elegant fragrance of freshly cut grass, bell pepper, ripe raspberry, green pepper spice and liquorice. This wine is delightful and delicious.
This wine is 100% cabernet franc. Sustainable practices are used in the vineyard, and the fruit is mechanically harvested and completely destemmed. Fermentation and ageing takes place in stainless steel temperature-controlled vats.
This 100-percent Cabernet Franc was farmed biodynamically and organically in one of the world's best growing spots for the grape. Vines range from 15 to 50 years in age and are planted in sandy clay and Turonian-era limestone. Extra attention is paid to select the very best fruit by hand, then fermentation takes place with native yeasts. After 8 months of aging in concrete vats, the wine is bottled without fining or filtering. This careful winemaking allows the purest expression of Loire Valley Cabernet Franc to shine through.
Jancis Robinson: "Organic farming. Intense crimson. Peppery, crunchy dark-red fruit, just a little smoky. A fine texture - silky but dry. Gentle and fresh, subtle. (JH)" (3/2016) K&L Notes: 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 th... Read More »
Certified organic since 2009, this domaine has been in the hands of the Caslot family since 1640, long before there was any other way of farming. Today, Stéphanie and her brother Emmanuel run the estate. There are over 80 acres of vines on the property. These vineyards are always harvested below 40 hectoliters per hectare (the legal permitted maximum yield is 55 hl/ha). The wines are made with indigenous yeast and usually bottled without fining or filtration. They are deliciously meaty, dense, and astonishingly age-worthy Loire Cabernet Francs.
Vintage notes: "The 2013 vintage started with a very dry winter followed by a warm, dry and early spring. The weather turned hot in late May and staying that way through July. The first 10 days of August were cooler and slowed things a bit, but the heat returned and we began harvesting on August 19, making 2013 our fifth earliest harvest start in JUSTIN history. September and October gave us perfect conditions to harvest cabernet franc from mid-September through early October with an attractive red fruit and finesse while the earlier ripening merlot star... Read More »
"A cabernet franc that showcases some of the higher tannic potential of the grape varietal but in a low-alcohol style that works perfectly for hotter weather and heavier dishes. Ruby in color this wine has a nose of red fruit including red plum, red currant and raspberry; there is also violet and a handful of fall green vegetable which lays underneath cedar and a dash of vanilla baking spice. On the palate grippy, earthy, medium-plus tannin shows on the attack ahead of the muted red fruit which emerges mid-palate towards a chalky finish. The wine is med... Read More »
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!
This is part of Channing Daughters "Molti Rosati" (many rosés) program, which is a single vineyard, varietally specific line of rosés. This year, the Cabernet Franc is one of six wines in the program. According to the winery: "Crisp, medium-bodied, elegant...Coppery, very pale salmon hue...Light and ethereal...Beautiful floral, light red fruits, saline minerality, yellow fleshed, light red fruit and citrus profile. ....raw bar, shellfish, local fluke and flounder, sushi, ceviches, fresh cheeses and fried foods"
91 points Wine Spectator: "Strikingly complex, dense and aromatic, with a rich core of vivid, graphite-laced dark berry, loamy earthy, underbrush and melted chocolate. Gains depth and nuance on the finish. (Web-2016)" Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* One of the few producers to take Cabernet Franc seriously, Lang & Reed has here come up with a very solid version that takes the middle ground as far as forthright fruit, extraction and evident tannin are concerned. It does not lack for the latter, but it is not at all abrasive, and its inclinations to fresh raspberries and mildly creamy oak afford lots of i ...Read More »
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.
Inventory: San Francisco
Wine Spectator: "This is about as big as a Loire red gets. It has a deep, young color, open aromas of smoke, meat and plums, and it's firm on the palate, with plenty of plum and tobacco flavors. It's distinctive and rich." (10/1994) K&L Notes: Maison Couly-Dutheil is undeniably one of the finest estates of Chinon, with eighty acres of prime Chinon vineyards as well as seven hectacres of Saumur and Saumur Champigny. The estate's Chinon holdings are impressive indeed as they spread over three distinct Chinon terroirs: Sand and gravel along the Vienne River which produce light and fruit... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Brisk-edged, with a strong savory note guiding the core of blood orange, bitter plum and cherry pit flavors, all backed by a chalk-tinged finish. Drink now through 2018. 1,000 cases imported. (JM)" (9/2016)
Andrew Jones learned to make wine from the ground up. He started as a vine nursery fieldman, planting and planning vineyards for wineries all over California. This gave him firsthand knowledge of nearly every vineyard on the Central Coast and a knack for finding "diamonds in the rough." Meanwhile, he was building friendships with some great California growers, who'd often offer him small lots of their best grapes on the side. From these beginnings he has built a catalog of delicious, affordable wines that hum with personality.
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 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The lovely 2012 Duemani is a wine that will show its potential further down the road. This warm vintage expression is muscular and compact at this initial stage in its evolution. It needs more years of bottle aging to unwind and soften ...Read More »
This Washington-based winery makes estate Cabernet Franc from their certified organic vineyard on the Oregon side of the river. Light on oak an alcohol, it's a Loire-styled Cab Franc.
93-96 points Vinous: "A towering, magnificent wine, the 2015 Clos Saint Julien captures all of the richness of the year in stunning style. Rich, unctuous and deep, the 2015 possesses exceptional beauty to match its exotic, flamboyant personality. Inky blue/purplish fruit, crème de cassis, violets, licorice, dark spices and leather meld together in a seamless, racy St.-Émilion oozing with personality. The 2015 is going to need time to shed some of its baby fat, but it will never be a subtle wine, rather it is a full-throttle St.-Émilion that takes over all the senses and never ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
René Noël Legrand took over from his father Fernand in 1976. The Legrands have been producing wines from these vineyards for five generations. Currently the domaine consists of 15 hectares (36 acres) of vines planted in the communes of Saumur, Dampierre, Chacé, Varrains and Champigny. The average age of his vines is thirty five years old, and the oldest were planted in 1927. The harvest here is done manually with 25 pickers working for up to two weeks. A "green harvest" is done in July to shorten the crop and increase the concentration, and the average y... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Home to the oldest vines of Charles Jouguet, the Clos de la Dioterie is a single vineyard that faces northeast. Naturally limited to an average yield of 30hl/ha, this is the last parcel harvested each vintage. Aged in 1-3 year old barrels for 12-15 months.
98 points James Suckling: "Incredible depth of aromas of black mushrooms, wet earth, and dark fruits. Full body, super silky tannins and a refined finish. It lasts for minutes on the palate. A thought-provoking wine that makes you think. Glorious. Drink now or hold for ages." (5/2016) 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The nose of the 2012 Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard almost made me fall from my chair. It is the expression of elegance and austerity coupled with strong minerality. It is mostly Cabernet Franc from a very chalky vineyard in Gualtallary at 1,430 meters altitude that fermented together with a ...Read More »
94 points Vinous: "An intense, dark wine, the 2013 Right Bank hits the palate with serious power and depth. Black cherry, plum, bittersweet chocolate, cloves and leather give the 2013 much of its brooding, virile personality. This is an especially dark Right Bank, with all the elements in the right place, but there is also enough inner sweetness and richness to make me think the 2013 will drink well with minimal cellaring. (AG)" (12/2016)
Jancis Robinson: "Destemmed. Fermented in 50-hl oak vats, then aged in barriques, 30% new, for just over a year. Deep, glowing crimson. Savoury, dark and spicy. Ripe cherries, fabulous fruit quality but not simple. Deep and long and just a little chewy but rounded. 17.5/20 points (JH)" (1/2016) K&L Notes: This is Jacky's "Grand Cru," if you will. This is picked from vines which are planted mid slope where the top soil is thin and the vine's roots hit the limestone almost immediately. In a really good year he might harvest 20 hectoliters per hectare - that is not a lot! The wine spends... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, good depth in the mouth, and a little muscular at the moment with a saline touch to the finish. (NM)" (11/2015) K&L Notes: This wine comes from Ginny Poval's farm located in the Devon Valley just minutes from the heart of Stellenbosch. Big Flower is designed to be an easy drinking wine that really over-delivers for the price point ... and boy it does just that!
Rocfontaine's Saumur Champigny rouge is sourced from 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.
Maison Couly-Dutheil is undeniably one of the finest estates of Chinon with eighty acres of prime Chinon vineyards as well as seven hectares of Saumur and Saumur Champigny. The estate's Chinon holdings are impressive indeed as they spread over three distinct Chinon terroirs: Sand and gravel along the Vienne River which produce light and fruit driven wines, siliceous slopes and plateaus which impart a certain finesse and elegance to Chinon; and finally clay and limestone slopes which produce Chinon's most serious and profound wines. In the most successful... Read More »
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 12.3%, from Loire clone Franc blended with Gamay. The winery's vintage note: "We are very excited with our 4th iteration of the “Béton” blend. The Cabernet Franc, which was picked relatively early, again stands out and is a little lighter than last years wine at 12.3% alc. The wine, like last year, is... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1999 Proprietary Red (a 500-case blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot) offers a dense ruby/purple color as well as a gorgeous Bordeaux-like bouquet of mocha, menthol, scorched earth, black cherries, currants, smoke, and toasty oak. The wine is expressive and full-bodied, with stunning concentration yet admirable delineation. Its moderately high tannin in the finish suggests considerable patience is warranted. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025. (RP)" (8/2002) 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Full ruby. Scented nose of blueberry, graphite, licorice and wild herbs, with a slight med ...Read More »
The Domaine's masterpiece, the Clos de l'Echo, is made from fruit grown within this walled vineyard that earned its nomenclature from the echo sent back by the castle walls. Once owned by the great French satirist Francois Rabelais and his family, the vineyard was purchased in 1952 by the Couly-Dutheil family and re-planted the following year. The Clos de l'Echo is a wine of grand proportion, complex, structured, and very ageworthy. These wines evolve into the pinnacle of elegance, with haunting aromas of rich plummy fruit, sweet herbs, spice and earth, ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Franc is a beautiful wine with the succulence of this vintage on display - supple tannins, a velvety, heady, hedonistic mouthfeel, and a fragrant, floral black raspberry and black cherry-scented nose with forest floor and floral notes. The wine has great fruit, medium to full body, and a silky finish. Drink it over the next decade. Scott Palazzo’s Cabernet Franc bottlings are always 100% Cabernet Fran. He should certainly get credit as one of the earliest pioneers to see the potential in this grape. Cabernet Franc has accomplished remar ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cabernet Franc is soft, round, juicy and not terribly complex, but satisfying and seductive. (RP)" (12/2015) K&L Notes: Ehlers Estate has 39 acres of vineyard land that is farmed biodynamically by winemaker and vineyard manager Rudy Zuidema. The terrain is gently sloped, and the property is divided into 24 individual blocks. Ehlers Estate is a “not-for-profit” winery and is held in trust for the Leducq Fountation. Jean and Sylviane Leducq established the trust in 1996 to fund the Foundation, which supports international cardiovascular research.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Contrary to what were most growers’ intuitions about this vintage, Pierre Breton did not bottle his 2007 Bourgueil Les Perrieres until last December. “This has finesse, delicacy, and energy, which I prize,” remarks Breton, and the narcissus and iris perfume here is not only alluring but does indeed set you up with the expectation of buoyancy that is then fulfilled on a palate of blackberry with bitter huckleberry and tart fruit skin. This is brightly invigorating and refined in tannin, finishing with saline and chalky persistence as well as continued waf ...Read More »
This Bourgueil from the Bretons comes from the Les Perrières vineyard, where the Cabernet Franc vines now have some 40 years of age and are planted in soils of silicieous clay and limestone.