Chinon is an appellation in the Loire valley of France – and it’s just about the only appellation in the region that makes almost exclusively red wines. The Loire is best known for Chardonnay, Sauvingon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne. Chinon wines are typically straight Cabernet Franc (although up to 10% Cabernet Sauvignon is allowed) – this bottle is 100% Cab Franc.
Marie de Beauregard (2014) Chinon, France – $20
Color: quite dark, purplish black – a good sign that this is made from very ripe, concentrated grapes, so it should avoid the off-putting green bell pepper notes that are sometimes found in Cab Franc.
Aroma: bingo! Ground black pepper, earthy notes of leather and mushroom, and some dark berry fruit underneath that. I’m really looking forward to the next step…
Taste: classic Cabernet Franc, this is an excellent example of the Chinon style. Blackberries and black pepper, with moderate acidity and medium tannins on the front and sides. This could be aged for another 4 years, but it’s certainly drinkable now.
Pairing suggestions: straightforward roast beef or leg of lamb – something with some fatty richness to ameliorate the tannins; and the earthy notes would work wonders with the mushrooms in Beef Wellington. Also consider medium-rich cheeses like crottins de chevre (aged goat cheese medallions), Mimolette, or Gloucester.
Highly recommended! Imported by Pasternak Wines, and they distribute in all 50 states.