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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 »
Surprisingly serious for a twelve dollar bottle of Cabernet Franc. Concentrated aromas of black and red fruits with dried herbs and hints of tobacco spice. Good earthiness but on the more on the subdued side and nice tannin on the finish. An overachieving entry level wine. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
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 »
This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc selected from multiple terroirs in the region of Saumur, in the Loire Valley. This wine has an earthy, dense nose with hints of black fruits and iron. A clean and refreshing style of Cabernet Franc, there are no weird or overwhelming notes of green pepper here! This would be fantastic with grilled and/or braised meats. It could use a little bottle age or a good 45 minutes of decanting to really show its stuff. (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
A touch deeper in color than the "Les Rochettes" from Bourgueil along with a bit more density throughout. A broad mouth feel with a really nice silky tannin component adds to its structure and overall appeal. Lots of fleshy purple fruits and silky spring flowers. 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. Th... Read More »
Always a bargain red from one of K&L's favorite direct imports. The 37-acre Blason property in Gradisca d'Inzonzo, owned by Giovanni and Valentina Blason, is just a few miles from the Slovenian border. Spicy pepper, juicy red fruit and a whole lot of deliciousness.
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 »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "Robust fruit drives this tight, floral Chinon, lasting on red cherry flavor. The roasted character to the aroma suggests pairing this with rustic, hearty dishes, like a salade aux gésiers, with chicken gizzards and livers, bacon, eggs and potatoes. The wine comes from 20-year-old vines grown on sand and limestone." (4/2015) K&L Notes: An extremely well-put-together cuvee that shows the lively 2013 fruit structure, with precision minerality that adds to its richness and balance. It's very sexy now and certain to continue to evolve and improve over the next few years ... 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.
2009 was a fantastic vintage for Cabernet Franc from the Loire and this bottling helps prove that. Coming from a selection of the estates oldest vines this has a really expressive aromatic of lush fruits and wild flowers up front with layers of balanced texture, tannin and lift. Could use a good hour of decanting. 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 ... Read More »
Maison Couly-Dutheil is undeniably one of the finest estates of the red wine-focused, central Loire region 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 ser... Read More »
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 replanted 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 perf... 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 »
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 successfu... Read More »
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 »
The mineral rich subsoils of this estate's vineyards promote an intense aromatic expression, supple tannins, fine balance, and a graceful long finish in the wine. This 100% Cabernet Franc is vinified traditionally, with gentle extraction following a fifteen day maceration period post-fermentation. The wine is then aged for six to eight months in tank, in the winery's underground facilities carved into the soft tuffeau hillside. Early bottling is key to preserving freshness of the wine's fresh fruit aromas and flavors. Enjoy now in the peak of its youthfu... Read More »
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)
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.
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 »
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; this wine is made with one of the two parcels that the family rents: Grand Mont to the west and Bretêche to the east. From the producer's notes: "Here the soils are relatively heavy with clay and limestone, without much sand, making for mouth-filling Bourgueils. These vineyards are always harvested below ... Read More »
100% Cabernet Franc for the lover, enthusiast and collector of Cab Franc. Only being produced in superior years, this comes from 80 - 100 year old vines planted in the clay and limestone earth that is Saumur Champigny. The harvest is 100% de-stemmed then vinified in cement for 20-30 days before being moved into barrique (mostly old but some new) for up to 6 months and then bottle aged deep within the safe cool surroundings of a limestone cellar. Although fairly tight this wine shows the seductive beauty Cab Franc can have. Lots of perfumed violets and fr... 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 »
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)"
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 »
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."
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.
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: Main Warehouse
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Right Bank (67% Cabernet Franc and 33% Merlot) has been a perennial winner from this Conn Valley vineyard since it made its debut as Gus Anderson’s homage to the Right Bank wines of Pomerol and St.-Emilion. The dense ruby/purple-colored 2012 Proprietary Red Blend Right Bank offers mocha, white chocolate, plum, black cherry and blackcurrant characteristics, medium to full body, and an opulent, round, seductive style. This fleshy, complex red can be drunk young or cellared for 12-15+ years. (RP)" (10/2014)92 points Antonio Galloni: "A big step up from the 2011, the 2012 Right Bank ...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 »
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.
Inspiration for this earthy and rich Cabernet Franc comes from the Right Bank of Bordeaux, where Belgian winemaker Damien Georis worked for several vintages (Chateau Nenin) before landing in California to make wine for Georis Winery. Fruit for his 2012 Madeleine "Les Planches a Canon" Cabernet Franc comes from Paicines in San Benito County, a beautiful narrow valley, just 20 miles from the ocean. The climate here is considered cool, yet warm enough to allow cabernet franc to achieve good levels of ripeness in order to shed its green and mean qualities. ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
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 »
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 vines are 35 years old and produce a wine known for its elegance and longevity.
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good full red. Aromas of black cherry, redcurrant, tobacco and mocha. Supple and sweet in the mouth, with dark berry and licorice flavors and little of the herbal character shown by so much North Coast cabernet franc. Finishes with dusty but sweet tannins, noteworthy breadth and fullness, and some lingering chocolatey oak. Excellent cabernet franc." (6/2006)91 points Wine Spectator: "A seductive style, with lavish vanilla- and mocha-laced oak wrapped around a rich, lively core of currant, wild berry and black cherry fruit that flows across the palate. Plenty of tannins, but it's be ...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 »
The Clos Nouveau is surrounded by ten foot walls and has been historically prized as one of Bourgeuil's top sites. The vines are planted on a thin layer of clay which covers a deep bed of limestone. Classic 2009 with its seductive seet fruit but shows deep finesse and mineral structure. A grand showing of what Bourgueil can do with Cabernet Franc. Fantastic wine! (Eric Story, Loire Buyer)
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 »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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.
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!