Enfants de la Patrie

Saumur

Domaine des Varinelles, Famille Daheuiller
Saumur-Champigny
2006
13.5% ABV | Price: about $25

It’s Bastille Day, so a good time to think about my French heritage. My maternal lineage hails from the Loire, from the tiny village of Faye-la-Vineuse. (I wish I’d known Faye. Given her vinous proclivities, I’m sure we’d have gotten along famously.)

In celebration, tonight we opened a Saumur-Champigny, a wine made not too far from my ancestral stomping grounds. It’s 100% cabernet franc and deep ruby in the glass. The nose is spicy and peppery, and blooms with fresh herbs like catmint and tarragon. It somehow manages to smell both fresh and dark, young and old, with bright ripe fruits like strawberry and black raspberry standing forward against darker brambles, plus a plummy earthiness. On the palate it’s supple, with smooth, spreading fruit and good acidity. It finishes dry, astringent like strong black tea.

“This wine is about its nose,” my husband observed. And for me, it’s about its provenance, too.

 

 

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9 replies on “Enfants de la Patrie”
  1. It’s not French, but we love Casa Zuliani Cab Franc. It is very earthy and will be perfect for autumn evenings.
    MA winemakers also make some very good Cab Franc. It seems to be a grape that grows well here!

  2. Hi Meg —
    The Loire abounds with discovery and Cabernet Franc transcends the seasonal stratification that often assigns optimal pleasure of wine to a time of year. Though this is reasonable, Cabernet Franc is rather like an old friend; familiar enough to offer comfort, pleasure, and calm assurance, whenever in need or want. I’ll take CB any time of the year and offer up one of my faves: Domaine la Noblaie, Chinon, Chiens-Chiens.

  3. Melissa and Meghan, thanks so much for these recommendations. I’m intrigued to taste an Italian Cab Franc, and I will definitely look for the Chiens-Chiens, as the price is certainly right.

  4. says: jason

    Again not French (Melissa covered my faves there) but I would certainly recommend the Lang & Reed offerings. It is a CA Cab Franc made in a Loire style that I have been drinking regularly and continue to enjoy. Also if interested my friend Jeff over at Viva la Wino has reviewed quite a few wines from Chinon. Cheers and happy tasting!

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