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2004 Domaine Filliatreau Saumur Champigny La Grand Vignole

SKU #1019973

90 points | $18 | 400 cases imported Wine Spectator Insider Jan 11, 2006 "A touch reduced right now, but there‚Äôs a big core of plum, blackberry and spice backed by cocoa, mineral and sweet tobacco notes. Muscular finish. Decant, or cellar for a few months before serving. Drink now through 2007.-J.M." The vineyard of La Grande Vignolle, in the Saumur-Champigny appellation, rests atop a tufa-stone outcrop that runs along the Loire river for a number of kilometers. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the stone, a creamy colored limestone, was quarried for building some of the great monuments and châteaux of the Loire. Cave dwellings and a few formidable houses were actually carved into the cliffs. The La Grande Vignolle label is a depiction of this site. The soil and subsoil of the vineyard are highly calcareous. This type of soil lends the cabernet franc grapes juicy flavors and good acidity. The vines are of considerable age and yields are kept low. The wine is vinified in stainless-steel and bottled unfiltered. It is rich in red fruit flavors, with a touch of tobacco and licorice in the finish and has excellent aging potential.

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Price: $15.99
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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.


- 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.


- 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.