The WINE LOVER’s Loire Valley Guide! – Finding the Source of Cabernet Franc & Chenin Blanc! (France)

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Watched Episode #1 about Sancerre & the homeland of Sauvignon Blanc: https://youtu.be/qgXk6-K40Eg

Today I’m taking you to discover absolute gems of French red and white wines you should know about, we’ll go first in Vouvray where some of the best Chenin Blanc wines are made in the world, both still whites and sparkling wines, and we’re also going to go in Cabernet Franc country, in Bourgueil, where we’ll learn how incredibly age-worthy and fascinating the red wines of the Loire can be.

Video content (transcription):
What is up guys? This is Episode #2 of a Wine Trip I made a few months ago down the Loire River of France and its various and varied wine countries. Today I’m taking you to discover absolute gems of French red and white wines you should know about, we’ll go first in Vouvray where some of the best Chenin Blanc wines are made in the world, both still whites and sparkling wines, and we’re also going to go in Cabernet Franc country, in Bourgueil to be specific, where we’ll learn how incredibly age-worthy and fascinating the red wines of the Loire can be. There’s quite affordable too for the quality they offer. So this is a video for those looking for affordable gems and absolutely underrated wines. There I tasted a vertical lineup of wines all the way back to 1911. An incredible experience I’ll tell you more about in just a few minutes. I’ll also be meeting with local winemakers so we really get to understand what this region is all about. Let’s go….

From Vouvray I went down to taste and learn more about the red wines made from Cabernet Franc in Tourraine, again, near the city of Tours, kind of in the center of the long Loire river. I’ve loved cabernet Franc for a long time, since I made some as a winemaker in Bordeaux of course, but I also made some in Tuscany as well as in Australia and the wines I made there were fantastic. It’s an amazing grape that somewhat has got the power and the concentration of Cabernet Sauvignon, but with more acidity, more floral notes of Violette, and more finesse overall. You have to know that Cabernet Franc is the backbone of some of the best wines in Bordeaux, namely some of the best wines in Saint-Emilion that are Chateau Cheval Blanc and Ausone for example, and those are some of the most expensive wines in the world. Anyhow, what I learnt in Bourgueil though, with an amazingly-friendly vigneron called Philippe Boucard of Domaine Lamé Delisle Boucard, is that the local Cabernet Franc wines from the Loire are not only excellent, fine, fruity and spicy, but they are also incredibly age-worthy. With Philippe in his stunning underground cellar dug into the limestone rock. Oh, and You also have to know that in this area, virtually every winery has an underground limestone cellar. Those not only highlight that here vines grow on the limestone rock itself, but they also provide the perfect conditions to refine and mature wines. Wines are simply more subtle and more elegant when they are made, matured and aged in these humid and cold caves. So we tasted bottles from 2018 and all the way back to 1911 through 1976, 1971, 1964, 1959, and they were all good and surprisingly fresh and vibrant. Because of their acidity and the vibrancy of their red berry characters, even the 1911 wine was still looking red and fresh in its color, it was spicy, it was deep, it was earthy, but still fruity too. Alive! You could still taste the grapes this wine was made from some 109 years ago. I mean, only wine allows you to travel back in time in such a way. And we paired these wines with delicious local food as well, in this incredible cave filled with old vintage bottles that are covered in this unbelievable crust of fungus. The friendliness and warmth of the local people, the pairing with food, the atmosphere. Absolutely unique and outstanding. And this tasting demonstrated for me that these wines from the Loire age pretty much, just as well as some of the top Bordeaux wines, needless to say that this is for a fraction of the price. So yes, it’s less prestigious and fancy, but if what matters to you is the pure quality of the wines, and the value for money which is sometimes important for some of us, well, Bourgeuil and other Cab Franc wines from the Loire are worth looking into. Now of course, needless to say that visiting the area is also worth considering as it’s so beautiful. You’ll see in the next episode that there are loads of stunning chateaus, I mean proper castles, and things to do in the area as well, it’s not only about wine, it’s about culture and having fun exploring history and landscapes…

In the next episode, I’ll take you further down the Loire River, to learn more about the sparkling wines of Saumur, the Chenin Blanc wines of Anjou, so going deeper into Chenin blanc and finding outstanding wines to explore, and we’ll also taste the delicious crisp and dry whites of Muscadet.

#JulienWineSchool #TravelWithJulien

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