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Two affordable Cab Francs

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The teaser sent to MWG members prior to the tasting described this flight as “Two more structured reds. Same vintage, same grape variety, same country, neighbouring appellations, different producers.”

Saumur-Champigny 2014, Cep by Cep, Thierry Germain Sélection ($20.15, 12424767)
Thierry Germain’s estate wines are marketed under the Domaine des Roches Neuves label. TGS is his and his brother Phillipe’s négociant label. 100% Cabernet Franc from organically farmed grapes. Manually harvested and fully destemmed. Macerated and fermented on the skins 15 to 18 days in temperature-controlled tanks. Matured eight to 12 months in stainless steel tanks. Reducing sugar: 1.9 g/l. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Société Clément.
Classic nose of red berries and slate, hints of game meat, caraway and a green pepper herbaceousness. Dry. On the light side of medium-bodied. Ideal balance of ripe fruit, tart acidity and supple tannins, all against a gauzy backdrop of minerals. Clean, fresh and pure from juicy start to spicy finish. For drinking here and now, carafed a couple of hours beforehand and served at cool room temperature. You can find cheaper entry-level Cab Francs at the SAQ but you probably won’t find better. (Buy again? Yes.)

Saumur 2014, Domaine Guiberteau ($24.30, 10516465)
100% Cabernet Franc from organically farmed vines planted in 1955 and 1957. The grapes are picked by hand, sorted and fully destemmed. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts and maceration take place in concrete vats and last around two weeks. Maturation is in neutral (third- and fourth-fill) barrels for nine to 18 months depending on the vintage. Nothing is added during the winemaking process except a minimal amount of sulphur dioxide at bottling. About 10,000 bottles made. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: LVAB.
Forewarned that the wine was closed and very reduced in 2014, I violently double-carafed our bottle and let it breathe for five hours, which helped but only a little. Funky nose of ash, animale, ripe if retiring fruit, clay. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied and tightly coiled yet full of potential: well structured, with ripe fruit and dark minerals at its core. Vigorous swirling and chewing give glimpses of the unfurling and depth to come. Long ashy finish. At this point, quite a different animal(e) from the 2013. Another six to 12 months in the bottle should help sort things out. (Buy again? A qualified yes: you gotta have faith and I do.)

MWG January 14th tasting: flight 6 of 7

Written by carswell

January 27, 2016 at 14:08

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