1996 Joel Taluau St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil Vieilles Vignes

SKU #1120139 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Impressively saturated ruby-red color. Complex aromas of black raspberry, kirsch, Valrhona chocolate, smoke and gunflint. Tactile and quite concentrated; really dense with extract. Ripe acidity gives the deep flavors lovely clarity. A real fruit essence: the wine somewhat chewy tannins and alcohol are hidden by fruit.  (12/ 1998)

K&L Notes

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 sincce 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 this one is really coming into its own.

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 By: Chris Bottarini |  Review Date: 3/30/2013 
Saturated ruby purple in the glass. Loads of high tone red fruit, herbs, currants & well matured wood waft from the nose. Although taking on some of that brassy-antique flavor that older wines get there is still plenty of youth in this bottle. The fruit is lip-smacking & ripe which begs you for another pull. The tannins have melted but are well integrated & enough acid remains to provide balance. I'm not sure I would hold onto this for much longer but I will certainly enjoy the rest of this tonight!

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.