Monday, March 31, 2008

WBW#44 Cabernet Franc from France

I really enjoy wine blogging wednesday as it really pushes you to taste something that is a little off the radar. This wine blogging wednesday theme, hosted by Gary Vaynerchuck, is that of French Cabernet Franc. For this theme I have decided to do two wines since neither of the wines I reviewed is a straight Cabernet Franc. Co-incidently both of these wines are entirely contrasting in style. So here goes.

2005 Villebois Cabernet Franc Malbec

Region: Loire
Country: France
Alcohol: 12%
Price: €9,00
Closure: Screwtop

Domaine La Chardoisie is based in the Loire Valley and is owned by four Dutch wine-crazy investors. They produce four wines including this Villebois Cabernet Franc Malbec (2005) which is a blend of Cabernet Franc (60%) and Malbec (40%) and is produced from 15-40 year old vines. While these grape varieties are of lesser importance in Bordeaux in the Loire these varieties play an important role.

Here is my tasting notes:

This wine has a deep purple red in colour. The nose is delicate with hints of raspberry and strawberry. The colour fools you as this is is a lighter-bodied wine with raspberry / strawberry jam, hints of cherry and some earth too. This is a very fresh with good acidity, balance and grippy tannins. A tasty lighter, fruity wine perfect for a warm summers day.

2005 Mas Champart Vin de Pays d'Oc

Region: Languedoc
Country: France
Alcohol: 14%
Price: €9,00
Closure: Cork

Mas Champart is owned by Matthieu and Isabelle Champart who took over the then run-down Languedoc (St Chinian appellation) domaine in 1976. Since then the estate vineyards have doubled in size from 8 hectare to 16 hectare. After initially starting out as grape growers selling their produce to the local co-operative they soon turned to producing their own wines. This is blend is primarily cabernet franc along with some syrah which is generally unusual for the Languedoc region.

Here is my impression of this wine:

Intense deep red with purple hues. Quite closed on the nose initially it opened up to reveal black berry fruit and violets. Medium to full-bodied on the palate with plum, black berry and solid almost chewy tannins. Quite a lot of spice in there too, almost paprika. Quite good length on the finish. Overall a really nice wine, that probably deserved some laydown time in the cellar before consumption.


RougeAndBlanc said...

Is it possible to find pure Cab Franc from Languedoc? Or is it always a blend due to AOC regulation? Love to try the Domaine La Chardoisie but too bad it is not available in the US.

Mad Wino said...

I'm not too sure. I found the search for a Cab Franc more difficult than I would have thought. When I spotted this wine I bought it since I had read reasonable reviews about Chapart in the past.