Domaine des Vallettes, AOC/AOP Sant Nicolas de Bourgeuil, Loire, France, 2012
This red/rose appellation is in the Touraine, along with Chinon and Bourgeuil, all showing similar styles, which are difficult to differentiate. It is on the right bank of the Loire, with south-facing slopes of sand and gravel. Up to 10% cabernet sauvignon may be added to the otherwise varietal cabernet franc wines, but this facility is little used. The aroma profile in the Touraine can include green pepper, strawberry, raspberry, with violet and rose, and almond especially in Chinon; with age they show musk, liquorice, smoke and truffle (Lenoir J, Le Nez du Vin). The best are light and aromatic, and need 4 or 5 years cellaring.
This wine – varietal cabernet franc, synthetic cork closure, 12.5% abv, 375ml, Vinophilie, €12
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, of medium intensity, fully developed, with aromas of raspberry, red current, a spicy nuance, a red floral note with a hint of violets, and a low-key hint of struck match.
Palate: a dry wine, with medium (+) acidity, medium (-) fine-grained, ripe and well-integrated tannins, medium alcohol and a medium (-) body, of medium intensity, with flavours of red currant and raspberry, with nuances of fresh raspberry jam and red flowers. A medium (+) length with a clean, red currant, lightly grippy finish.
Quality: a good quality relatively simple wine, well made, with harmony between good acidity and low tannins, which balance the alcohol, and are harmonious with the intensity of flavour. Lacks complexity, with modest concentration of flavour, but with a decent mid-palate intensity and length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, this wine, whilst well-balanced, has neither the concentration nor complexity to improve with further ageing, but will hold for 2-3 years.