Friday, March 26, 2010

Fabrice Gasnier Vieilles Vignes Chinon `07 $19.99 (not TJ's) ****

This is a beautiful sipping wine.  Fresh, fruity, dry and only a slight tannin aftertaste.  I may be falling in love with Cabernet Franc. Even before the vinturi, it seems open and aromatic. I know that I am going to sound weird, but it smells like really yummy, fresh Chinese food - sort of sweet smelling, but fresh, with a hint of tanginess (and that is just the smell - we're talking Oriental Jade in Bangor, Maine - before they moved the restaurant) Ok, maybe I am being way too sentimental.  Maybe the smell is plum.  The taste is light and fresh and not sweet at all.  I like that combination. It teases my nose with sweetness, and then delights my mouth with dry fruitiness. (I'm gonna stop there.  I really need a boyfriend!)

After the Vinturi:  NOPE, don't decant it.  It seems rougher, dryer. Aeration seems to accent flaws in this wine.  It is much better straight out of the bottle (well, via a glass that is).

With food, it is lovely. This lamb is subtle, and the orzo is lemony and well, peas are peas... All around this is a GREAT wine.

Today's menu:
Pistachio & Panko crusted Lamb
Orzo with lemon & tomatoes

Some thoughts:
Wow, I am drinking one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvingnon. This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc.  Someone once suggested that I taste as many 100% wines as possible to develop my palate.  Slowly, I am learning.  I made a pretty big study of Cabernet Sauvingnon for World Kidney Day - (yeah, it was an effort... NOT) now I can really understand the difference between C Franc and C Sauvignon.

In a case of "I really want to do this", wander lust, I stumbled across this blog post about the vineyard....

This is just a partial quote - this blog has much, much more (with pictures)

We discovered Fabrice Gasnier at work in his vineyards, pruning his vines in preparation for the coming of spring. Fabrice began his work at the property during the benchmark vintage of 1989. He and his father Jacky, who has since retired, incorporated the Domaine as it now stands in 1993. Their family has owned land and farmed here in Chezelet for four generations, during which time the estate has grown from its original three hectares to its current 24. All of those 24 hectares – 23 planted to Cabernet Franc and one to Cabernet Sauvignon – are located on the flat portions of the Cravantine landscape, within a two kilometer radius of Chezelet. Finding Fabrice in his fields presented the perfect opportunity to really gain an understanding of his farming techniques and of some of the peculiarities of his terroir.

All of Gasnier’s vines are Simple Guyot trained, with one main baguette producing seven eyes. A second, smaller baguette is pruned to two eyes and trained in the opposite direction, the intention being both to begin the growth cycle for the following year’s season and to prevent bunch clustering. Farming is entirely organic (the estate is now in the process of organic certification through ECOCERT), using only natural products and homeopathic principles, practices which Fabrice describes as preventive rather than curative viticulture. Predator insects and bio-organisms are relied upon for pest control. As we can see, standing in a freshly plowed 2.5 hectare plot of vines planted by his grandfather 50-60 years earlier, the earth is turned regularly to promote deep root systems and a maximum expression of terroir. Following pruning – and completing the cycle – vine cuttings are mulched and returned to the soil to reintroduce their stored energy to the vineyard.

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