Jean-Max Manceau, a Chinon native, has been a longtime champion of Cabernet Franc from his beloved appellation. He previously served as president of the Chinon AOC and headed up a commission that preserves traditional winemaking throughout the greater Loire Valley before he and his wife, Odile purchased her family’s ancient estate (which dates back to the mid-1700s) in 2001. Today, Domaine de Noiré comprises 34 acres of vineyards averaging 30 years old, grown in different areas between Chinon and Cravant. Primarily plated to Cabernet Franc with a little portion devoted to Chenin Blanc, the vineyards are certified organic and facing South on a plateau with mineral-rich, stony soils. Jean-Max and Odile are leaders in quality in Chinon, incorporating biodynamic practices into their viticulture, limiting yields to boost concentration in the wines and featuring soil-specific bottlings of their reds to highlight the diversity of terroir across their land.
Produced in the saignée method, this 100% Cabernet Franc rosé is made by “bleeding” a portion of the pink juice from a tank of red must that is just beginning fermentation. It’s a win-win for the winemaker considering they get a vibrant rosé while also helping to concentrate and embolden their red wine. Crafted from 30+ year old vines in Chinon, Domaine Noiré’s rosé offers that signature minty leaf aroma you get from Cabernet Franc intermixed with notes of rhubarb, fennel and freshly crushed summer berries. With a decent tannic structure and incredible depth of fruit, this plump and juicy style is quite versatile with food; it would be perfect alongside grilled trout or salmon, but it’s also crying out for some fennel salami, Pâté, an idyllic picnic spot and nothing but time on your hands!