Domaine de La Noblaie, AOC Chinon, Indre-et-Loire, Touraine, France, 2012
The Chinon AOC straddles the Vienne river. Permitted varieties are cabernet franc (locally known as breton) and cabernet sauvgnon (max 10% in a blend with cabernet franc) for red and rose, and chenin blanc for white (1). Ageing of cabernet franc in wood is common (2), with longevity ranging from 5 years on average, to 10+ years with the best vintages.
This wine: made for the Co-operative by this domaine, organic, varietal cabernet franc, natural cork closure, 12.5% abv, The Co-operative, £10 (12/15).
Consumer tasting note: wow, what a bargain, and the latest vintage remains at £10. The 2012 has a well-developed nose, quite complex, with leather edged dark and dried berries, both black and red, violets, liquorice and cedar; medium bodied, fresh with a light grip, black berry, red currant jelly, touches of tobacco and old polished wood. A medium-long length, decant for 30 minutes, and savour.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears and tartrate crystals on cork underside (with a level teaspoon of solid deposit, so unfined and/or unfiltered).
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of dark cherry edged with leather and a light touch of horse, touch of blackcurrant, an indistinct floral lift – wavering between rose and violet, toast, dried cranberry, red currant, red liquorice, cedar.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium tannins, medium alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of red currant firmly edged with leather, black berry, dried cranberry, red currant jelly, touch of tobacco and very low-key horse, old polished wood. A medium (+) length with a leathery red berried lightly grippy finish.
Quality: very good, perfectly balanced fresh acidity and ripe moderate tannins with alcohol, suiting the flavour intensity; decent intensity, lesser concentration, but showing a fine level of complexity, with bottle age leathery and dried fruit notes, and signs of quality with a note of violets, with added complexity from a touch of brett. Follows into a medium-long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing – a perfect balance, will keep for a year or two but not improve perceptibly.
- INAO, short for Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité, on 01/01/2007 it replaced 2 bodies – the Commission Nationale des Labels et Certifications, and the Institut National des Appellations d Origine (INAO); with the acronym INAO being retained. Drill down to specific appellations, some entries are short.
- Seely, J. (1989). The Loire Valley and its Wines. Lennard Publishing.