2020 Baudry Dutour 'Le Pin' Chinon
Region: Chinon < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Cabernet Franc
Vineyard/Cellar stats: Certified organic farming; local “tuffeau jaune” soils composed of sand and tiny extinct marine fossils; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added So2; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Jean Martin DutourMove over Cabernet Sauvignon, the noble variety of Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley is the true king (and interesting fact, the daddy of Cab Sauv - mom is Sauv Blanc). A well-made Loire Cab Franc is fine, elegant, firmly structured, and just plays so nicely with food. Something about the elegant texture and savory flavors seem to lift even things as simple as a piece of salmon or taco Tuesday to a whole other level. The acidity in the wines cut the fattiness of meat, and the flavor of the meat brings out the fruit in the wines. Think about it - meat dishes are big and rich, so how do you best frame that flavor? With more big and rich? That is like drinking a milkshake with pudding -- just too much. What is needed, and more balanced, is a wine that is streamlined, refreshing, and has enough acidity (not tannin) to lift that richness right off your palate, leaving you ready for another bite.
This lovely little Chinon from Baudry-Dutour is the perfect example of an easy-drinking, food (and wallet) friendly Cab Franc. While the Baudry family has been cultivating grapes since the 1300s, the Baudry-Dutour estate dates only from 2003, as a partnership between Christophe Baudry (whose uncle is Chinon legend Bernard Baudry) and enologist/ master viticulturist Jean Martin Dutour. Dutour oversees all the estate’s organic vineyards and winemaking, using indigenous yeasts, and never fines or filters the estate’s wines. The duo's 'Le Pin' is the everyday drinker in the lineup, fermented partially carbonic, all stainless, no wood. It smells like juicy blackberries, which carry over onto the silky palate punctuated by crunchy fall fruit and a subtle green spice. This one will sing with a little chill, if you're so inclined.