Brett happens

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Blot on the Loire

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Bourgueil 2009, Mi-Pente, Domaine de La Butte ($35.00, 10903684)
Jacky Blot’s top Bourgueil cuvée. 100% Cabernet Franc from vines averaging 50 years of age. The estate practises lutte raisonnée (often translated as sustainable farming). Yields are kept low: 30 hl/ha in 2009 for the entire estate vs. the authorized 55 hl/ha, though probably more like 15–20 hl/ha for this cuvée. Manually harvested. Destemmed. Fermented in wooden vats with no added yeast or chaptalization. Once-daily punch-downs and regular pump-overs. Matured for 16 months in a mix of old and new barrels. Bottled unfiltered and unfined. 13.5% ABV.
Complex, dark, umami, intriguing nose: dried wild cherry, fruitcake, leaf mould, soy sauce, slate, tobacco leaf, a hint of blanched rapini, coconut, leather and sawed wood. Rich and fluid on the palate. The sweet-tart fruit transitions to a spicy mid-palate underpinned by tannins that seem soft until you chew the wine. The finish is long, astringent and bitter-edged, like you’ve chomped down on a cherry pit. A flavour not unlike blackberry tea lingers long. Delicious and fascinating. The ripeness of the fruit and tannins means it’s approachable now, though the structure, balance, complexity and freshness (that acidity!) also indicate age-worthiness (up to a decade or two, according to the winemaker). A disappearing must-buy for lovers of Cabernet Franc.

At table, the wine worked well with – but was arguably too grand for – a chicken stewed in vinegar. A better food pairing would be roasted, stewed or flavourfully sauced red meat (even lamb), game or, especially in a few years, guinea fowl.

Written by carswell

January 22, 2013 at 12:54

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. […] food-friendly, though a shade too light to make an ideal pairing for chicken stewed in vinegar (the search continues). A better bet would be braised beef or pork in a less assertive sauce. Hamburgers and […]

    Got rocks « Brett happens

    February 8, 2013 at 17:40

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