2016 Geoffrey de Noüel 'Les Noraies' 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; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Geoffrey de Noüel
The Loire valley is one of the most beautiful and idyllic regions in France, with the Loire river carving its way through the countryside, its banks dotted with chateaux and verdant vineyards. For the amount of land this region occupies (over 600+ square miles), there are relatively few grape varieties grown here. For red, its mostly Cabernet Franc, and here the fun is in the multitude of expressions the grape, which can run the gamut from light- to medium-bodied, driven by bright red fruit or leaning savory, with loads of bell pepper and/or cedar -- and everything in between.
Geoffrey de Noüel is a young vigneron on the rise in Chinon, an AOC located in central Loire, where some of the greatest Cab Franc is being produced. He started his winemaking journey in 2011 with a series of internships in Burgundy, then transported the Burgundian idea of cultivating and vinifying a singular grape on different plots (to showcase the terroir of each) to his own project in the Loire. All of Geoffrey's vineyards are certified organic, and his goal is to work as hands off as possible to produce transparent wines that showcase the varied soils of the area.
Like this single vineyard 'Noraies' bottling, which is bright and crunchy, with that acid lift on the palate that is unique to Chinon. The fruit is juicy, cherry and red current notes mixing with pine needle herbal tones and the slightest hint of green pepper. We love Chinon with tomato-based dishes, the mild tannins of the wine and subtle green elements playing nicely with the fruit. Try this wintry bottle with veggie lasagna or red-sauce pasta -- it's also great with Mexican fare.