Chinon Les Temps des Cerises Rouge, Domaine de la Noblaie, Loire, France, 2020
100% organic Cabernet Franc, hand harvested with natural yeast fermentation. Around 5 months on the lees. Unoaked. Low sulphur (averaging <32mg/L).
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 and now certified organic by Ecocert.
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.
"Tasted as a cask sample in February 2021, the 2020 Chinon Le Temps des cerises comes from 30-year-old vines on cornuelles clay and tuff limestone and is vinified in stainless steel for five months. The 2020 is a wonderfully pure, fresh and elegant, medium-bodied red with charming cherry and berry fruit and a stimulating, crisp finish. A lovely aperitif if your rosé bottle is already empty. Drink chilled." (88-89/100) points, Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate, August 2021.
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