Les Nivieres, Cabernet franc, AOC/AOP Saumur, Maine et Loire, France, 2014
Saumur – is a sub-region of Anjou, which encompasses other appellations including Bonnezaux, Coteaux de Layon, Quarts de Chaume and Savennieres. Saumur is an appellation of the left (south) bank of the Loire, at the crossroads between a maritime and continental climate, with moderating effects of the North Atlantic and the river, so winters are mild with an early spring and warmer growing season. Soils are limestone (tuffeau) based. The main varieties are cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, chenin blanc, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.
The nominal profile of cabernet franc includes raspberry, redcurrant, blackcurrant, cherry, violets, smoke …
This wine: varietal cabernet franc, Diam cork closure, 12.5%, Waitrose, £9
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity purple, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, of medium (+) intensity, youthful, with aromas dominated by bright ripe red fruits – aromatic red currant jelly then red cherry and raspberry, then black berry, and a hint of violets.
Palate: a dry wine, with medium (+) acidity, fine-grained medium tannins, medium alcohol and a medium (-) body, a smooth texture, medium intensity, with flavours of red currant, over ripe raspberry, a red floral note and a delicate leafiness. A long length and a clean moderately grippy red-fruited finish.
Quality: a very good quality wine, youthful and fruit driven – vinified in stainless steel, fine acidity lifts the flavour profile and together with fine-grained tannins, balance the alcohol. Dominated by bright red fruits, there is good intensity, though no great complexity, but the length is long and lingering.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: This wine is ready to drink now. A fruity wine by design, with neither great flavour intensity nor complexity, although there is a good length. It does not possess the tannic structure for ageing, and so with time will fall out of balance as the fruit diminishes. Verdict: It will hold for a year but neither improve nor develop positively with further ageing.