1997 Couly Dutheil "Clos de l'Echo" Chinon (3L) (Previously $250)

SKU #1073521 90 points Wine Spectator

 Impressive ripeness still, despite its age, with a solid core of black currant, prune and bittersweet chocolate. Shows more tobacco, sanguine and spice notes on the back end, with a muscular, coffee-tinged finish. Aging nicely. Drink now through 2004. 35 cases imported.  (7/2003)

K&L Notes

A favorite at K&L, Couly Dutheil is a fantastic Loire producer of Chinon. Some of the best Cabernet Franc in the world comes from Chinon, and I've even won over a confirmed 'hater' with the Clos de L'Echo! Slighted by 'Sideways' and pushed aside for years in favor of Cabernet Sauvignon - Cabernet Franc is an honestly noble variety with a character of its own and qualities not to be overlooked. As is only fitting, the same grape varietal is also is a large component of the fabulous St Emilion Cheval Blanc.

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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.