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Château de Coulaine Chinon Francs de Pieds 2015

Château de Coulaine Chinon Francs de Pieds 2015

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Certified Organic (Ecocert)
Variety: Cabernet Franc
Country, Region: France, Loire
Appellation: Chinon

Made from a tiny plot of ungrafted vines in front of the chateau. Vinified in cement with indigenous yeast and then aged in 400 litre barrels (none new) the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal S02. This has given the purest expression of Cabernet Franc that one is likely to find in the Loire. Beautifully elegant and fresh with vivid raspberry perfume and intense yet fresh dark berry and spice on palate. Incredibly fresh and refined structure with astonishing purity. Lip-smackingly moreish.

”This cuvée is made from vines grown on sandy soils, which helps to protect them against phylloxera. The volume produced is understandably very small, so the vinification here was in just two 400-litre barrels. The aromatics are sweet, with lightly macerated blackcurrant fruits, with a touch of black tea. A supple style on the palate, medium-bodied, lightly textured, but with plenty of grip leading into a dry and rather grained finish. It feels sappy and austere in the end, although I think I would rather drink this than the 2015 La Diablesse tasted alongside.” 90 points, Chris Kissack,, February 2019.

Château de Coulaine is a family-owned estate rich in viticultural tradition which has been operating continuously since 1300!  In the 19th century the estate came to be one of the most notable in Chinon before phylloxera reduced the holdings to just over 1 hectare of Clos de Turpenay. Since 1988, Etienne de Bonnaventure took over the farming of that 1 hectare assuming all viticulture and winemaking responsibilities and has grown the estate to its current 18 hectares, all situated on Chinon's plateaux. Planted mostly to Cabernet Franc (with a little Chenin blanc making both Chinon blanc and Touraine blanc) particular care is taken to re-plant using selection massale as they have done for generations.

The  vineyards are organically farmed since 1997, being the first in the appellation to be certified organic, all grapes are hand-harvested and vinification follows a non-interventionalist path.  Coulaine's low yields result in deeply concentrated, savoury and succulent expressions of Cabernet Franc with ripe and polished tannins - a harmonious balance between the traditional and modern worlds. We adore Cabernet Franc and it is easy to see that Etienne has made every effort in the vineyard and the cellars to ensure that these are simply some of the purest and most deliciously approachable examples you will ever come across!

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