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Domaine de Noire Chinon Soif de Tendresse Rouge 2008

Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

With its lip-smacking, bountiful red fruit and spice, this quencher of a "thirst for tenderness" 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 QPR knockout.

Critical Acclaim

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

The 2008 Chinon Soif de Tendresse leads me to believe that the 2008 vintage is ideally suited to a red in this style designed as it is for maximum enjoyment and refreshment when drunk slightly cool at the earliest possible post-bottling date (not that you won’t be able to enjoy it for the next 9-12 months). Essence of fresh, juicy, tart blackberries tinged with ginger, pepper, salt, and thyme inform the nose and a palate of vibratory energy and exhilarating invigoration in the finish such as one seldom encounters in a red wine. Subtle suggestions of peat and nut oils add some mystery and richness to the finish, treble and extroverted though it is. You will find myriad occasions and uses for this.

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Domaine de Noire

Domaine de Noire

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Domaine de Noire, , France - Other regions
Domaine de Noire
Domaine de Noire owner Jean-Max Manceau is a man about the Loire Valley—not only is he president of the Chinon AOC, but he also sits at the head of a commission that aims to keep the practices of Loire growers and winemakers true to the region’s traditions.

Manceau and his wife Odile care for just over 20 acres of vineyards in Chinon, a region that sits at the crossroads of the Loire and Vienne rivers. It's hard not to be infected by their combined enthusiasm for Cabernet Franc—these are very dedicated artisans (albeit hobbyists—Manceau runs a larger property as his "job") who seek above all to capture the purest expression of this native varietal.

The domaine draws its name from a legendary neighboring vineyard, "Clos de Noire." This high-altitude plot is renowned in the Loire for its alabaster soils, rich in minerals and chalk. It's the same sort of porous rock one can find in Champagne, and more immediately, in the walls and towers of the Loire's breathtaking chateaus.

Manceau's Cabernet Franc vines, on average 60 to 70 years old, share similar soils as "Clos de Noire." This great terroir, a combination of gravel and chalk, is ideal for Cabernet Franc. Manceau's "Cuvée Elegance," a 100% Cabernet Franc wine, is both full-bodied and fresh, with characteristic notes of violets and flint in the nose. Manceau also crafts a rare, 100% Cabernet Franc rosé, vinified completely in tank.


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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively...

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a coastal pine forest, the mostly flat region has a mild maritime climate marked by cool wet winters and a warm, damp growing season, though annual differences vary enough to make vintage variation quite significant. Unpredictable weather at harvest time may negatively impact the ability of cornerstone variety Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen fully, while humid conditions can encourage the spread of rot and disease (although in the case of the region’s sweet white wines, “noble” rot known as botrytis is highly desirable). The Gironde estuary is a defining feature of Bordeaux, splitting the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The vast Entre-Deux-Mers appellation lies in between.

The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as most of the region’s most famous chateaux. Here, Merlot is commonly planted as an insurance policy in case Cabernet fails to fully ripen in difficult years. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec may also be used in blends. This tends to be the more structured and age-worthy side of Bordeaux. Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc as its primary sidekick, with the other three varieties available for blending. The key appellations here include St. Emilion and Pomerol, whose wines are often plush, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking. Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine...

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

NBI598009_2008 Item# 100279

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