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MWG September 11th tasting: Grounded, alive, drinkable

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Drawing inspiration from natural winemakers such as Yvon Métras and Dominique Derain and mentored by the likes of Eric Pfifferling and Olivier Cousin, young Benoit Courault worked at Domaine des Sablonettes before setting up shop in Faye d’Anjou about eight years ago. His vineyards, which total about 5 hectares, are planted to Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Grolleau and a little Cabernet Sauvignon. He farms organically, works the soil with a horse, adopts a non-interventionist approach in the cellar and minimizes the use of sulphur. For an extended profile with lots of photographs, see this post on the Wine Terroirs blog.

Vin de France 2012, Les Tabeneaux, Benoit Courault ($28.70, private import, 12 bottles/case)
A middle-Loire blend of organically farmed Cabernet Franc and Grolleau (about 2/3 and 1/3 respectively) from five parcels. Destemmed. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. Matured in concrete tanks. Minimal or no added sulphur. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Glou.
Fresh but not herbaceous nose: plum, black raspberry, a floral note, a hint of ash. Smooth and round in the mouth, with soft tannins, an acidic hum, pure, ripe fruit, a slatey substrate and a long, clean, tartish finish. So grounded, so alive, so drinkable. Proved the perfect charcuterie wine, unfazed even by pickled pork tongue. (Buy again? Yes.)

(Flight: 5/9)

Written by carswell

September 22, 2014 at 12:46

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