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K&L Staff Recommendations
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 »
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.
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 »
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."
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 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Chinon Vieilles Vignes is the top wine of Alliet; no other wine of this estate has a comparable finesse, elegance and balance. You might call it unspectacular, but to unite these three merits is much rarer than often frivolously claimed. Indeed, this seems to be an unspectacular wine since its spectacle only starts after you have finished the bottle and started to think to order another one for a business lunch. This authentic, spicy, joyful, black currant flavored, unpretentious 100% Cabernet Franc has everything a wine requires. And thus is no ...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)
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a fun wine, easy to like. It’s also a serious wine. That’s a hard juggling act, but Pride pulls it off so well. Shows the lighter side of the Cabernet family, with a silky, almost delicate body framing cherry and oak flavors. Yet there’s tremendous depth, and the exquisite tension between fruit, acidity, tannins and wood is as intricate as a Cirque du Soleil trapeze act." (3/2007)92 points Wine Spectator: "A showy wine that has substance and depth, with lots of fresh, ripe, vibrant cherry, currant and earthy berry flavors, fine acidity and tannins and a nice splash of toast ...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 »
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
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."
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.
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 »
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 »
94 points Robert Parker: "I am amazed by how spectacular Pride Mountain's Cabernet Franc continues to be. The fabulous 1998 Cabernet Franc is a noteworthy achievement in this difficult vintage. Its deep purple color is accompanied by a gorgeous bouquet of cedar, spice box, black fruits, smoke, and earth. In the mouth, there is a smorgasbord of sweet black fruits with a hint of dried Provencal herbs. Opulent and full-bodied, with marvelous concentration yet an eerie sense of weightlessness, this rich, complex 1998 can be drunk now as well as over the next... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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!
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.
Rocfontaine's Saumur Champigny rouge is sourced from 15-20 year-old Cabernet Franc vines planted in calcareous clay. Grapes are hand-harvested, and the individually managed lots are fermented quickly to extract a generous fruit profile without hard tannins. The result is a fine Loire red, which happens to be wonderfully drinkable and food-friendly in its youth.
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 »
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.
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
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)
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 »
Inventory: San Francisco