This Chinon is a beautiful ruby colour, with plenty of violets on the nose. It is lush, tender and silky on the palate with black cherry, currants and pomegranate. Earthy, herbaceous and mineral notes. This luscious wine can be chilled and is very versatile. Good as a lunchtime wine – a gem with roast lamb and works well at the barbecue.
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Originally a native to the southwest of France, this is both parent to, and overshadowed by, the illustrious Cabernet Sauvignon. Although more prevalent on the right bank of the Gironde, Cabernet Franc has become viewed as the ‘insurance‘ grape of Bordeaux; it ripens earlier and is less susceptible to poor weather than the major Bordeaux varieties. This makes it suitable for cooler climes like the Loire Valley, where it has thought to have been grown since the sixteenth century. The Bordeaux connection has led it to be planted in most well-established world wine regions – albeit usually in the shadow of Cabernet Sauvignon – and used as a blending partner, although it is gathering credence for single varietal wines in Northern and Central Italy and Eastern Europe. The gentle growing season in cooler regions gives wines with lightish body, distinctive freshness and a mix of floral, red fruit and capsicum flavours; on the warmer Tuscan Maremma, the most southerly of these regions, it gains body and darker fruit character. Merlot Few grapes have been as enthusiastically embraced by wine producers worldwide as Merlot. It‘s earliest records place it on Bordeaux‘s ‘right bank‘ where the largest plantings are are still found. However, its soft, approachable nature means it has been planted extensively elsewhere. More tolerant of cooler growing conditions than Cabernet Sauvignon, there is great demand for its low-tannin, plummy Chilean incarnation as well as more demanding styles from low-yielding, well-placed vineyards across the world.
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