Couly-Dutheil Chinon La Baronnie Madeleine 2005
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Chinon region has all the qualities of the greatest soils. Its semi-oceanic climate is exceptionaly mild and benefits of long sunny periods. The variety of soils and their particular qualities allows the cabernet-franc (98% of the vineyard) to express all its fineness and its celebrated "taffetas" within a range of strong personalities.
The sandy and gravelly plains along the Vienne river for the thirst quenching light and fruity wines. The clayey, siliceous slopes and flat-lands producing fine and subttle wines. The clayey and chalky hills where are born the sumptuous wines meant for ageing.
The House of Couly-Dutheil
Of the 2000 hectares of the Chinon vineyard, Couly-Dutheil vinifies some 130 hectares of which 90 are their own property located over the three production areas of the appellation. If the quality of the soils, amongst the best in Chinon, contributes to the renown of Couly-Dutheil, their quest for quality in the selection of vintages and love for perfection in maturing adds to their prestige.
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
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, Cabernet Franc also produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine-producing world. 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.