2019 Domaine de Noire Soif de Tendresse Chinon AOC, Loire Valley, France (750ml)

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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 planted to Cabernet Franc with a little portion devoted to Chenin Blanc, the vineyards face south on a plateau with mineral-rich, stony soils, and are certified organic. 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. Most wines are aged in stainless steel tank; some selections are fermented and aged in terracotta amphorae, a vessel that allows oxygen transfer but is neutral, unlike oak barrels.

The Soif de Tendress, which literally means “thirst for tenderness” is made from 100% Cabernet Franc from estate vineyards located on a high-altitude, south-facing plateau near Chinon, rich in flint stones. These dark stones absorb the heat of the day to release it slowly overnight, helping grapes ripen fully. The grapes were hand-harvested and macerated for 48 hours at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks. The must was fermented on indigenous yeasts at controlled temperatures, aged in tank and bottled in early spring.

Deep ruby with a garnet rim. Delightful violet aromas, recalling the Loire Valley in spring. The palate is lush for Chinon, showing ripe berry fruit, green herbs, a touch of spice and a slight chalkiness typical of Loire Cabernet Franc. Very well balanced. Enjoy slightly chilled in the warmer months.

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