Chenin Blanc and Cab Franc/Loire Valley
Two grapes, both alike in dignity. In fair Loire Valley where we lay our scene…. (no not Verona J) These wonderful grapes started life in the Loire Valley of central France. Loire Valley is the land of amazing castles and wondrous gardens. It seems like everyone was trying to out-do the other when building these gigantic stone fortresses. A white grape, Chenin Blanc, is king, and all the other grapes its subordinates. Except one, Cabernet Franc, a red grape. If Chenin Blanc is king, Cabernet Franc is queen. Nowadays you can find both grapes in many regions of the world. We will explore the vast difference in flavor and body. We will travel through the offerings from Swartland-South Africa, Saumur FR, Chinon Yakima, WA, and Southern OR.
Badenhorst, Secateurs Chenin Blanc, South Africa, 2016
The aromas are flinty with honey, orange blossom and white stone fruit notes. Good ripe flavors and slightly lower acids than in previous years. Brightly defined, with delicious quince, persimmon and green almond notes forming a core that is threaded with quinine and white ginger details. A light touch of toast on the finish lets the fruit and immorality play out.
W.T. Vintners, Chenin Blanc, Stoneridge Vineyard, Columbia Valley, WA 2016
Crunchy green apple, honeydew melon & tangerine lead with notes of chamomile tea & tarragon following close behind. Absolutely dry with flavors of apple, melon & tart citrus. The finish vibrates with acidity & fresh herbs.
Domaine de St. Just, Chenin, Saumur FR, 2016
100% Chenin Blanc. Seductive, almost golden color. Very elegant nose of white fruit, floral with a touch of honey. Pleasant full taste with a very long finish. Strong sense of place and varietal character. Lifted and precise, palate-coating, very good grip, excellent balance.
Domaine de St Just, Les Terres Rouge Cab Franc, Saumur FR, 2016
A beautiful wine that exudes floral aromas, black earth, red fruit, very slightly peppery-style vegetable and a little Christmas spice. The mouth is of a great freshness, it is juicy and balanced. Leave a sweet bitterness in the finish. Pretty length
Angelique Leon, Cab Franc, Chinon, FR 2014
Chinon, just a half hour drive east of Saumur, has world-class wines. This Cab franc has bright red color with youthful highlights. Nose marked by earth scents, berries. The palate brings freshness, flexibility, and aromatic delicacy accentuating the fruitiness register. Juicy digest, just for the pleasure of drinking.”
Whidbey Island, Cab Franc, Yakima, WA 2016
Wonderful blackberries, deep plum, white pepper, juicy black cherry and creamy blueberry flavors follow an earthy peppery nose in this version of the other Cabernet.
Leah Jorgensen, Cab Franc, Southern Oregon, 2016
With a whimsical nod to the Loire Valley. Deep purple/black in color, this wine carries varietal scents of violets and cassis, with fresh and focused flavors following. The mix of black cherry, black licorice, chalk and tobacco is complex and powerful, and that power and balance continue through the long finish.