This wine has an almost Alice in Wonderland-like enchantment about it; with its lip-smacking, bountiful red fruit and spice, it might as well come with a "Drink Me" label around its neck. Aromas remind of wildflowers and white pepper, with touches of earth and small red berries. The mouth is vibrant and fresh, with juicy persistence and lively notes of baking spices. Very, very appealing, and a knock-out in terms of price/quality.
"The Noire 2009 Soif de Tendresse – latest installment of a March-bottled, earlier-drinking, fruit forward cuvee inaugurated in 2007 – is full of ripe cassis, elderberry, and nut oils, with a polished feel and juicy exuberance, its long, lip-smacking finish subtly tinged with piquant toasted nuts, pungent herbs, invigorating salinity, and otherwise crystalline mineral notes. This 13% alcohol (by vintage standards, virtually light) Chinon will prove a delightful value as well as excellent introduction to its appellation over the next 12-18 months.
President of the Chinon growers’ syndicat and long-time (though no longer) regisseur at next-door Chateau de la Grille, Jean-Max Manceau continues to turn out exceptionally fine wines from his own small estate. He echoed the sentiments of many red wine growers (not only of Franc or on the Loire) in noting that the trick in 2009 was to achieve fermentative extraction via “infusion” rather than the slightest degree of force.
The Wine Advocate