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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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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 sustainable farming and each and every vine get singular attention throughout the year. Vines of an average age of 25 years are... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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. Everything is hand-harvested, cuvées are based on vine age and soil composition, and the wines are fermented and aged in stainless steel before being bottled without filtration.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a solid, firm and ripe wine. With its dry structure and still youthful tannins, it has weight and the potential to age. The smoky aromas and fragrant berry fruits are bursting out of the glass, giving a ripe wine that should be drunk after 2016." (3/2015) K&L Notes: A rich ruby red with notes of violets and red berry fruits, this Cabernet Franc is nicely layered on the palate with brightness running throughout and just a touch of smoke mixed in with some purple fruits. Soft waves of mineral with a nice soft tannin make this a true delight to drink. Domaine le... Read More »
Fresh Chinon rosé made by the saignée method, sourced from Joguet's sustainably-farmed vineyards. According to importer Kermit Lynch: "Fresh strawberries come to life in this lovely incarnation of Cabernet Franc. Bring a bottle of Joguet to your next picnic and you’ll see how it makes everything taste better."
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 »
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 »
According to importer Becky Wasserman: "In only a few years, Domaine Guiberteau has become one of the most sought after domaines in Saumur, their wines already stringently allocated and found in the best restaurants in France." The entry level Saumur Rouge comes from old vine Cabernet Franc planted in 1955 and 1957. Nearly three-quarters of the fruit comes from Les Arboises, vineyards on the hill of Brézé that are dominated by limestone, while the remainder comes from Les Motelles, vineyards on sand over gravel and clay.
Inventory: San Francisco
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.
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)
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.
Thibaud Boudignon is a young, talented rising star winemaker in the Loire. He is currently the winemaker at Château Soucherie, where his integrating winemaking approach and shift towards 100% organic practices has resulted in great success. The winery allows him to produce a small amount of wine under his own label on the side, including this crisp, mineral-driven rose. Dry, with delicate red and black fruit notes and hints of herb, this will pair with a variety of dishes and is especially perfect for a rustic picnic.
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 »
With its savory notes and structure, "Justification" is aimed at paying homage to Right Bank Bordeaux producers of Cabernet Franc-dominated wines, with a juicy Paso twist. The blend is 58% Cabernet Franc, 42% Merlot. From the winery's tasting notes: "Bright with a beautiful dark purple ruby core and medium concentrated rim. Aroma: Red and black cherry, black currant, and ripe strawberry fruit with cola, coffee, dark licorice and vanilla spice accents. Full bodied with currant, cherry, and strawberry along with dark black currant on the entry. Sweet tobac... Read More »
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 fruit. Good acidity and fresh minerals on the finish keeps you coming back for more. A serious, shy man, Philippe Alliet is the proprietor of this small domaine in Cravant-les-Côteaux, location of some of the best Cabe... Read More »
91 points Connoisseurs Guide: "**Two Stars** Leading with intense, blackberry, plum and coffee aromas, this very ripe but well-balanced bottling surprises with its almost claret-like structure, and, while showing up with typical Cabernet Franc toughness at the finish, it also conveys a wholly convincing sense of fruit. It is among the more complex wines of its class, and its emerging elements of rich oak, cola and loamy soil give rise to expectations for further interest ..." (4/2008)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The elegant, dark ruby/blue/purple-tinged 2005 Cabernet Franc reveals notions of crushed rocks, menthol ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "A lovely Cabernet Franc, one of the best on the market. Shows classic Pride Mountain characteristics of ripeness, balance and immediate drinkability, although it will take a few years in the cellar. Dry and full-bodied, it’s rich in black cherries, spices and oak, with firm tannins." (5/2010)90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "**One Star** Perhaps it is this wine's hilltop provenance that is responsible for taking away some of its varietal focus, but, that quibble aside, this is a fulsome, deep, rich rendition nonetheless, and if treated as a ripe Bordeaux mix, its closest analogy, it is a ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
From the winery: "100% Cabernet Franc from our own Two Blondes Vineyard. This fresh, medium bodied wine with ageing capabilities is extraordinarily good as well as being a very good value. An often overlooked varietal that is used more often for blending, Cabernet Franc is well suited to planting at the relatively cool Two Blondes Vineyard."
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 »
Wine Spectator: "Cherry, sage and tobacco are the main themes in this moderately structured red, with juicy acidity and dry tannins on the finish." (10/1998) K&L Notes: Direct from the Estate!! Just an adolescent, chewy and deep, almost sappy with briary hints in the nose and a definite minerality on the palate. Cool and very long. Now till 2015+ Clive Coates- Couly-Dutheil's "...Clos de l'Echo, a 17 hectare vineyard which produces the greatest red wine of the Loire Valley."
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.
At Calcu, they are convinced that the next Big Thing in Chile is Cabernet Franc. God bless 'em if they think that Cabernet Franc will ever explode in popularity the way that Argentine Malbec recently has, or that Pinot Noir has in the past decade. Nonetheless, we love Cabernet Franc, especially one so textbook and attractively priced as this. Savory, spicy dark cherry fruit aromas lead to a snappy Cab Franc palate, showing a well balanced combination of just ripened red stone fruits, subtle herbaceous tones and a tasty, dry finish. My notes read: "Chil... 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.
Antonio Galloni: "Dark ruby. Wild aromas of raspberry, mocha and pistachio. Supple on the attack, showing a restrained sweetness to the flavors of red fruits, graphite and vanilla. The tannins are slightly herbal but avoid turning dry on the finish. Almost Beaujolais-like in style, this Cabernet Franc will only be released next year. (JP)" (12/2014) K&L Notes: The is a delicious Cabernet Franc from the Domaine de Saint Just, established by Yves Lambert and his son Arnaud in 1996. The organically farmed vines are planted in iron-rich soils that lend the wine minerality, power and spici... 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.
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark, dense ruby. Brooding aromas of black cherry, mint, licorice and tar. Supple, pliant and discreetly sweet on the palate, with very good depth and verve to the boysenberry flavor. Still withdrawn in style, this Cabernet Franc finishes with serious subtle tannins and a late note of licorice reminiscent of a Saint-Emilion wine." (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 Chinon on the bank of the Vienne. It is a two-hectare vineyard on a very steep slope with southwest exposure. Joguet's vi... 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 Caberent 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!
The Domaine's masterpiece, the Clos de l'Echo, lies within this calcareous clay soil and is the stuff of legend. This walled vineyard and it's castle earned it's 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. This 2002 is a legendary wine in the making, with great concentration and per... 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. "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 »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I loved the penetrating aromatics and floral, blueberry, and menthol notes of the deep ruby/purple-colored 2002 Cabernet Franc. The blend is actually 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot. The flamboyant fragrance jumps from the glass of this sweetheart of a wine. There is tremendous concentration and intensity of flavor, yet the wine is light on its feet, with a surreal, ethereal flavor profile. Cabernet Franc can do some special things in California, and it is good to see this wine perform so well. Already drinkable, it should last for 10-15 years. (RP) ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
92 points Wine Spectator: "Elegantly balanced, rich and full-bodied, with deep, supple black currant, herb, cedar and spice. Tight, focused and structured, ending with a long, complex finish. Best from 2011 through 2016" (6/2009) K&L Notes: The cult following for Pride Mountain has been in full force for years now. Situated high up at the top of Spring Mountain, the winery straddles the Sonoma/Napa county line and commands a spectacular view of Mount St Helena. The property was a winery well over 100 years ago, and now produces some of the more sought after wines in California. The reviewers... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Maison Couly-Dutheil is undeniably one of the finest estates of Chinon, with 80 acres of prime Chinon vineyards as well as seven hectares of Saumur and Saumur-Champigny. The estate's 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 masterpiece, the ... Read More »
From a gravelly terroir right next to the Bretons’ little house and winery, Galichets was harvested at 12° natural alcohol. Showing marked minerality, impressive purity, and a core of delicious ripe blackberry fruit, enjoy this organically grown and vinified Cabernet Franc from one of the Loire masters. It will drink well for several years, but there is no reason to deprive yourself of its pleasures now.
From the Winery; A beautiful, 100% Cabernet Franc with great structure, firm, mature tannins, and compelling flavors. Black and red berries, black cherry, toasted coconut, browned butter, and slight vanilla, this wine is pure Franc from a stellar terroir. Mouth-filling and built to last, this is a perfect change-up to your best Cabernet Sauvignons. 2012 was a great vintage in the Napa Valley. Early spring rains gave us just the water we needed to get the vines growing, then the warm weather set in right on cue. All summer long we enjoyed warm days and co... Read More »
96 points James Suckling: "I have tasted this wine at least four or five times in the last two months and it is clearly classic. Some can be a little austere and thin though. This bottle was gorgeous with such pure and bright fruit. It showed aromas of dried cherries and mushrooms that turn to sliced ripe plums. It’s full with round and ripe tannins, and a long, long finish." (3/2012)96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Amber-tinged red; based on other bottles I have tried, the color of this particular bottle seems slightly more evolved than usual. Penetrating aromas of strawberry jam, raspberry, red cherry, orange p ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Fermented in an ancient chalk "tuffeau" vat, the 2011 Chinon Cabernet Franc Pierre de Tuf is a crimson-colored, delicious, spicy, greenish shimmery Cabernet Franc with the initial aroma of a filled pencil-sharpener that leisurely reveals its ripe and meaty cherry and dark berry aromas. You should give it time in a decanter and you will enjoy a full-bodied, ripe, intense, but very elegant Cabernet with earthy perfumed blackcurrant aromas and very fine tannins. (SR)" K&L Notes: Another fabulous Chinon from the folks at Domaine de la Noblaie, this comes from Cabernet Fr... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A structured wine with tannins from wood aging, as well as rich blackberry fruit. The wine has fruit and structural intensity, layering spice and juiciness atop a dry core." (10/2013) K&L Notes: The fruit for the "Clos les Pins," as the name suggests, comes from the walled vineyard which is just right outside the winery's doors. I was lucky enough to taste this limited bottling while visiting this last spring, and I had to have it for the shop! Darker fruit up front with a nicely knit surrounding structure and sweet tannins on the finish. As per the house style, real... 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, unmarred by the intrusion of oak--which he hasn't used in production since 1986. He was also the first producer in the appellation to begin domaine bottling. The Vieilles Vignes, from a single plot of Cabernet Franc planted in 1934, is prized for its power, depth and grace. This flagship wine is meant to age, and the large format bottle will have helped to preserve freshness. Enjoy now!
Wine Spectator: "Firm, with a nice structured edge to the black cherry, olive, tobacco and iron notes. There's solid length through the finish. (Web Only—2009)"
Maison Couly-Dutheil is undeniably one of the finest estates in Chinon, with eighty acres of prime Chinon vineyards as well as seven hectacres of Saumur and Saumur Champigny. The estate's Chinon holdings are indeed impressive, spreading over three distinct Chinon terroirs: the sand and gravel along the Vienne River (which produce light and fruit driven wines), the siliceous slopes and plateaus (which impart a certain finesse and elegance), and the clay and limestone slopes where Chinon's most serious and profound wines. It is here on these calcareous cla... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
100% Cabernet Franc produced in the méthode ancestrale fashion. Vines grown in clay and limestone were hand-harvested and underwent a direct press. Natural yeast was used for fermentation and no dosage added. Salmon in color with vibrant aromas of wild strawberries and fresh watermelon along with its fine bubble just add to the fresh style.
Inventory: Redwood City