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Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon Rouge Les Chiens-Chiens 2011

Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    The Chinon rouge from the property is a case study in the balance between power and elegance, spice and softness, and fat and acidity. Jerome's rouge is produced from a single block called "Les Chiens-Chiens:" 40-80 year old Cabernet Franc vines. Aged 12 months in 2 and 3-year-old barrels, this Chinon is lovely and perfumed, with tremendous length in the mouth.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Domaine de la Noblaie

    Domaine de la Noblaie

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    Domaine de la Noblaie, Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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    24-year-old Jerome Billard doesn’t make your father’s Chinon. After work at both Château Petrus in Bordeaux and Dominus in California, two of the world’s most prestigious estates, who would expect him to turn out Cabernet Franc like anyone else in the area?

    Domaine la Noblaie is one of the oldest family estates in the Chinon appellation. With 18 hectares of holdings on hillside vineyards in Ligré, the property sits at almost the highest altitude in the entire AOC with commanding views over the river and the 600 year-old Chinon fortress. To say that Noblaie is a magical place doesn’t even come close to doing it justice.

    The property is owned and run today by Francois Billard, an oenologist and former professor of viticulture. Many of today’s hottest winemakers were his former students including the immensely-talented Vincent Ogereau. However, after his son Jerome wrapped up the afore-mentioned internships in Bordeaux, California, and Australia, Francois has handed over most of the winemaking responsibilities to his extremely able son.

    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

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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 Secrets

    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.

    WAL446235_2011 Item# 132066