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Clau de Nell Cabernet Franc 2014

Cabernet Franc from Loire, France
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • WS90
750ML / 13% ABV
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  • TP90
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Covering the vine stock with soil in autumn, plowing-down in spring, tilling and allowing natural grass to grow between the rows; biodynamic practices include infusions and plant decoctions applied to the vineyards according to the lunar calendar. DEMETER Certified 100% Biodynamic.

The grapes reached great maturity thanks to a warm month of September. The harvest took place in idyllic condition without rain and pleasant temperatures. Destemmed grapes were fermented using native yeasts; aver age of 30 days maceration without extraction; gentle cap-punching; limited pump-overs; and infusion techniques at temperatures of 18 C to 25 C (64 F to 77 F). Slow and gentle pressing in a pneumatic press. The wine was aged 18 months on fine lees in French oak casks which were used five times previously; in ancient troglodyte cellars cut into the limestone hillside on the property.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Anjou Cabernet Franc displays a beautifully pure and fresh, intense and perfectly balanced bouquet of dark ripe fruits, graphite, herbal and floral aromas. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated and perfectly ripe, this is a gorgeously balanced and velvety textured Cabernet Franc with great finesse, vitality and energy. The finish is slatey and as fleshy as it is pure and vital; the aftertaste is lovely aromatic in its fruit, floral and mineral aromas. A gorgeous wine of great purity, finesse and elegance.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This is a rich, smoky red-fruit-flavored wine. One of three wines produced by the estate that was created by the late Anne-Claude Leflaive of Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy, it is made from biodynamically grown grapes. Wood aged, it shows spice as well as the cool fruitiness that gives the wine both its crispness and aging potential. Drink from 2018.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
A gutsy style, with a bolt of smoldering tobacco leading the way, followed by a mix of dark cherry and currant fruit, bay leaf, tapenade and humus notes. Fresh acidity drives the finish, and this should mellow nicely with some modest cellaring. Drink now through 2020.
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Clau de Nell

Clau de Nell

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Clau de Nell, France - Other regions
Anne-Claude Leflaive and Christian Jacques purchased Clau de Nell in 2008; Sylvain Potin joined the team as estate manager in 2009. The property is comprised of 10 hectares (24.7 acres) of vines on a gently sloping hill surrounded by open countryside. The highest point of Clau de Nell offers a glimpse of the Loire in the distance; from here, an uninterrupted view unveils the sky and the river on the horizon, as well as rows of Grolleau, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc. As with Domaine Leflaive, all of Clau de Nell’s wines are 100 percent biodynamic.
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Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux, the picturesque Loire valley produces pleasant wines of just about every style. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the Atlantic coast to the center of France.

The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire—farthest west and closest to the Atlantic—has a maritime climate and focuses on the Melon de Bourgogne variety, which makes refreshing, crisp, aromatic whites.

The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc produces some of, if not the most, outstanding dry and sweet wines with a sleek, mineral edge and characteristics of crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Malbec (known locally as Côt).

The Upper Loire, with a warm, continental climate, is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.

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Cabernet Franc

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The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets, Cabernet Franc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. While both are important grapes in modern day, high quality Bordeaux, interestingly, Cabernet Franc most likely originated from the Basque region of France sometime during the middle 1600’s. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine producing world, with some of its most classic examples from France’s Loire Valley, in the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil and Saumur-Champigny. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc performs quite well in parts of California, New York and Virginia. It is also a great blending grape.

In the Glass

Cabernet Franc typically tastes of red raspberries, cherries and herbs, with a stunning perfume of violets, tobacco and spice.

Perfect Pairings

Mouthwatering acidity makes Cabernet Franc an incredibly food-friendly wine, helping to cut through the richness of fatty meat dishes. It especially shines in tandem with lamb, and its affinity for the spice cabinet allows it to pair perfectly with Chinese dishes prepared with Szechuan pepper and five-spice.

Sommelier 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.

PBC9168800_2014 Item# 388324