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Domaine Grosbois Chinon Clos du Noyer 2012

Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
  • W&S94
12.5% ABV
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12.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Delicate yet aromatic traces of blackcurrant and a hint of toasted bread entice the senses upon first encounter of this elegant wine. The palate reveals tightly wound tannins that seamlessly intermingle with the finesse of the texture. Subtle fruity notes round out on the lingering, silky finish.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
Nicolas Grosbois farms his vineyards organically, including this south-facing hilltop where the vines are 40 years old, growing in clay and sand over limestone. He ferments in open cement vats without added yeast and then ages some of the wine in tank, some in oak barrels. The Clos du Noyer produced an essential 2012, deeply layered with scents of earth, leather and bright red currants to contrast all that darkness. If you don't like Brett, look elsewhere, but if you can handle some beautiful French funk, this may make the hair on the back of your neck stand up (as it did mine). It brings to mind Gauloises, the scent of blood and the gritty night streets of Paris: Film noir in a glass.
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Domaine Grosbois

Domaine Grosbois

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Domaine Grosbois, Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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Domaine Grosbois is located in the heart of the Loire Valley in Chinon, France. The estate has been family owned since 1820, and is currently in the hands of skilled proprietor Nicolas Grosbois. The vineyards are comprised of 13 plots that were designated in the 15th century and to this day remain. A range of seven Cabernet Franc wines are crafted based on the unique plots. Nicolas wholeheartedly believes in organic agriculture and has worked to transition the farm. His 2009 – 2011 vintages are Ecocert converting to organic agriculture with his 2012 vintage, marking the first official Ecocert organic certification.

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 the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon and shares many of the structural elements of Bordeaux’s cornerstone variety. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc is often planted as an insurance policy against its later-ripening offspring, as it is more likely to thrive in a difficult harvest. But don’t mistake Cabernet Franc for merely a supporting player—this grape variety produces outstanding wines on its own or as the dominant component of a blend. It produces perhaps its most alluring wines in France’s Loire Valley, in the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur-Champigny, where brighter, riper wines can be achieved. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc has performed quite well in parts of California, New York, and Virginia.

In the Glass

Paler, lighter, crisper, softer, and much more aromatic than its progeny, 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

Under-ripe Cabernet Franc can be leafy and green with harsh tannins and mouth-searing acidity, so it is best to avoid highly spiced curries and fiery chili dishes.

STC620220_2012 Item# 141384