Clos Cristal Cabernet Franc Saumur-Champigny 2008
Cabernet Franc from Loire, France
100% Cabernet Franc from 40 year old vines. Single 10 hectares (25 acres) vineyard giving low yields. The wine is 100% tank fermented. A landmark in the region, property of the Hospices de Saumur since 1928. Antoine Cristal, founder, was the first to bring Cabernet Franc to the Loire valley.
The dark, black fruit aromas are held in a firmly tannic grip, and the acidity is fresh and lively, and the wine depth and concentration suggest further development.
Wine Enthusiast - "Initially earthy, this needs a few minutes to blossom into an elegant, structured wine, with black cherry flavors, firm dry tannins and a smooth finish."
Clos Cristal Winery
Since 1928, Saumur Hospital has owned the 10 hectares (25 acres) of vineyard growing Cabernet Franc grapes bequeathed by Antoine Cristal. The Clos Cristal is historically symbolic for Saumur wine growers, not only because its creator was the first to develop red wines in Saumur, but also because in about 1900, he conceived of an ingenious project. He built three kilometers (2 miles) of walls along which, and through which, the vines grow. Close to he walls, the vine takes advantage of the heat accumulated by the stone, which enables a greater level of ripeness in the fruit.
The main objective in the way that the vineyard is run and the vinification is performed is to produce, naturally, a concentrated and expressive wine.
Each year Clos Cristal produces a principal vintage, and another one during the best years only, made exclusively from grapes picked alongside the wall, called “The Wall.” View all Clos Cristal Wines
About LoireChenin Blanc, Muscadet and Sauvignon Blanc. For reds, Cabernet Franc takes center stage but the region also has plantings of Pinot Noir and Gamay. The AC of Cremant de Loire is popular – these are the sparkling wines of the Loire, usually made with Chenin Blanc.
Notable FactsAs for which grapes you find in which regions… Starting on the Atlantic Coast and moving east - Muscadet hails from the region of the same name, within the larger Nantes district, right on the Atlantic coast. The wines are dry, citrusy and pleasant, but rarely powerful or intensely aromatic. Just inland from Nantes is Anjou-Samur, home to Savennières, an excellent source of dry Chenin Blanc. To the east is Touraine, where you'll find the popular white region of Vouvray - Chenin Blanc shines in Vouvray, which can be dry, off-dry or sweet – the majority of those found in the states are a lovely and food-friendly off-dry. In the same district, Cabernet Franc makes delicious, delicate and elegant reds from Bourguil and Chinon. Finally, in the Upper Loire area, Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé turn out Sauvignon Blancs of razor sharp acidity and minerality.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.