Blend: 100% Cabernet Franc
Chateau de Coulaine is a family-owned estate rich in viticultural tradition which has been operating continuously since 1300. Since 1988, Etienne de Bonnaventure has assumed the viticulture and winemaking responsibilities and has grown the estate to its current 12 hectares, all situated on Chinon’s plateaux. Since 2014, his dynamic son Jean has joined the family domaine on a full time basis. Planted to 100% Cabernet Franc, vineyards are organically farmed, all grapes are hand-harvested and vinification follows a non-interventionalist path. Coulaine’s low yields (around 35 hl/ha) result in a deeply concentrated, savory and succulent expression of Cabernet Franc.
An important red wine appellation in the Touraine district of the Loire, Chinon produces fanciful, light-bodied reds from the Cabernet Franc grape. Chinon also makes charming rosés from the same grape as well as white wines from Chenin blanc. But the reds give the area its fame. Often scented with fresh herbs, black tea and violets, Chinon reds show a lovely combination of fruit and acidity. However, styles have become more concentrated and ripe in recent years from improvements in vineyard management. Modern methods include planting grass between vineyard rows, using higher trellises and deleafing to increase sunlight to berries and therefore improve ripening. Even still, red Chinon is intended to be a light to medium bodied, refreshing wine to be enjoyed in its youth.
Fuller-bodied Chinons come from vineyard sites on the clay and tuffeau limestone slopes, usually from the southern exposed slopes of Cravant-les-Coteaux, and the plateau above Beaumont. Lighter styled wines come from the sand and gravel vineyards near the Loire or Vienne Rivers with the most refined examples coming from the area around Panzoult
Cabernet Franc, a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, is the subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine-producing world. Somm Secret—One of California's best-kept secrets is the Happy Canyon appellation of Santa Barbara. Here Cabernet Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory aromas and polished tannins.