2005 Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon "Les Chiens-Chien"

SKU #1045073

92 points Wine & Spirits: "Broad and full, this is driven by pungent stoniness, a deeply expressive minerality that saturates the waxy stone fruit flavors. It's gripping and focused, possessing the weight and authority of the red wines that are more typically grown on these soils, yet demonstrating chenin's inimitable character." Jerome Billard doesn't make your father's Chinon. After work at both Chateau Petrus in Bordeaux and Dominus in California, two of the world's most prestigious estates, who would expect him to turn out Cabernet Franc like anyone else in the area? The Chinon rouge from the property is a case study in the balance between power and elegance, spice and softness, fat and acidity. Named for a parcel on the property, "Les Chiens-Chiens," is produced from 40- to 80-year-old vines of Cabernet Franc. Only a small amount is allocated to the United States. This is his best offering I have had to date. Wonderfully dense and spicy with hints of cherry and black berry. A soft, subtle herbaceous line runs through the middle, which leads you into a ripe juicy mineral core and a long finish (Eric Story, K&L Wine Merchants)

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Price: $15.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Franc

- While Cabernet Franc, a parent with Sauvignon Blanc to the ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon, frequently plays second fiddle in Bordeaux blends (though it does get more props on the Right Bank, where it dominates Cheval Blanc), this lighter, higher acid/lower tannin, early-maturing, perfumed red varietal is far from a wallflower. It is the headliner in the Loire Valley appellations of Saumur-Champigny, Bourgueil, St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Chinon and Anjou-Villages, where it makes exceptional, food-friendly wines. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc can be found in northern Italy, particularly in Friuli and in California where it is frequently used as a blending grape in Bordeaux-style wines. Heartier in the cold than Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc is gaining a foothold in northern and eastern wine regions like Canada, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Loire

- Of all of the French wine producing regions, the Loire might produces the greatest variety of wines. They range from still to sparkling, very dry and acidic to hearty sweet, and clear in color to a deep purple. The diversity of wine produced in this region is due in part to its dynamic climate, which ranges from Continental to Mediterranean. This region is best known for Sauvignon blanc, Chenin blanc and Cabernet Franc. The most famous areas in the Loire Valley may be Sancerre and Vouvray.