2008 Frédéric Mabileau "Éclipse No. 8" St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil (Previously $33)

SKU #1053382

91 points Wine Spectator: "Bright and juicy, offering a solid core of plum and blackberry backed by grippy briar and tobacco notes. There's a mouthwatering edge on the long finish. Drink now through 2012. 100 cases imported." –JM 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Lurid ruby. Sexy aromas of black raspberry, violet and smoky Indian spices. Perfumed and penetrating on the palate, showing impressively pure dark berry and floral pastille flavors and mounting spiciness. The finish features silky tannins and lingering notes of red and dark berries and candied violet." (May/June 10) This is a special treat indeed. Only made in select vintages, the Éclipse is made up from 100% Cabernet Franc 40-plus year old vines. There is an aggressive pre-harvest triage and the clusters are de-stemmed prior to fermentation, which takes place in barrel and is then allowed to age in Burgundian barrels for up to 14 months. With a firm yet modest mineral structure, this is a dark and spicy style of St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil. Loads of fleshy dark cherry, spiced vanilla and black currant fruits lead into a long and silky finish. Would benefit from a good hour of decanting or five-plus years in the cellar. 13% ABV

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Price: $21.99

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By: Gary Westby |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/10/2010  | Send Email
This is a highly refined Cabernet Franc and a must for any fan of the variety. The opaque purple color is the first clue that this is ambitious stuff, not the simple quaffer that so much St. Nicolas De Bourgueil serves so well as. On the nose it has the black cherry and chocolate notes that I encounter more often in new world Francs, but without the excess. The impression carries through on the palate; this is a textural wine and quite full bodied. The flavors have power, and none of the greenness that one often finds in the Loire. Yet, this wine is still gorgeously and authentically Bourgueil, with moderate alcohol and good acidity. The ample tannins would make this a great candidate for a rib eye or leg of lamb, and perhaps for even a stint in the cellar!
Drink from 2010 to 2020

 By: Elisabeth F |  Review Date: 11/21/2010 
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I bought this for a Cabernet Franc blind tasting. 15 people tasted it (mostly native Californians, but some transplants). Hands down it won last place.

Review notes:
This had a nice cherry tartness to it, but the dryness was almost indescribable. About-to-die-of-thirst kind of dry. Hard to pay attention to much else because of this. Definitely good blending stock, though.

If you want a Cabernet Franc which everyone will like, we recommend
1. Fenestra Cab Franc
2. Trader Joe Label Cab Franc
3. Elena Cab Franc 2008

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Additional Information:

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13
Organic: