“The answer lies in the soil”


One of my favourite red grapes is Cabernet Franc. It can produce some raspberry-perfumed (and perfumed is the right word) wines that are light with an attractive sappiness. It can also produce much weightier wines that have great longevity. On the Loire, it’s all down to the soils, evidently – sandy limestone for the weight whilst limestone and/or gravel for the lighter wines.

When visiting  Saumur in the Loire two years ago, I was offered a range of wines by a local producer. They were a mix of pure CF and CF/Cab Sauv. blends. I opted, every time, for the mono CFs. They had a cleanness of style that, for me, was lost when the jammier, richer CS was blended in. The grower was surprised but I wasn’t going to be rude and say that the blending made them too ‘keen to please’ for my liking.

The 2012 Domaine de la Chevalerie, Diptyque, Dernier Cri, from the Caslot family, is 100% CF. It’s AC is Bourgueil on the Loire. Pink rimmed and bright red in the glass, it gave off a vanilla-nose and red fruit nose that is so attractive. There was also some attractive farmyard maturity present. The medium length palate had some refreshing acidity and a rich red-fruit style and power which suggested two more years drinking for this 12.5% wine. A lovely drop of wine for £10 and great accompaniment for lighter, simpler meals.

[Richard: from Vin Neuf in Stratford – Geoff goes to the theatre there. This was tasted after the Cote Rotie and suffered a bit in comparison. But a good wine in its own right and a summer favourite. I hadn’t thought of Beyond Our Ken for many years so the title of the post prompted some diverting memories.]


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