Chinon Les Temps des Cerises Rouge, Domaine de la Noblaie, Loire, France 2018
100% Cabernet Franc with around 8 months on the lees. Unoaked.
Its name is evocative of the plump black-cherry fruit in this healthy ripe vintage. Will develop in bottle but its bright fruit and well-managed tannins make it approachable now.
Jérôme Billard is a young grower who has taken over the reins of the family business in recent years. His grandparents bought the property for their retirement having migrated from the Corrèze department, and Jérôme’s father was professor of oenology at the agricultural college in Montreuil-Bellay. Jérôme trained with Moueix in Bordeaux and California, and later in New Zealand, and returned to the domaine with a fresh outlook but a great respect for the integrity of Chinon’s grapes, working sustainably since 2008.
The family now farms 21 hectares, 16 of which they own, around the hamlet of Le Vau Breton, a name which in the time of 15th-century poet and trencherman Rabelais meant ‘The Valley of Cabernet Franc’. 17 hectares are planted with cabernet franc and 4 with chenin blanc, and Jérôme vinifies parcels separately and by the age of the vines to retain their particular characteristics.