Minimum purchase 6 bottles (or equivalent of 4500mL) mix and match with other Direct wines from this producer. Purchases must be in multiples of 6. Ships directly from winery to you in a few weeks - $4/bottle for 12 or more & $6/bottle for 6.
Our tasting impressions
This is the new name for Les Varennes. The heat of 2018 produced a bigger, richer and sweeter wine. Yet, the prevailing impression from this is freshness. So despite bulking up a bit, this remains the same fun, delicious Cabernet Franc that stole our hearts in the 2014 vintage.
About this wine
100% Cabernet Franc from vines averaging 20 years planted on hills comprised of sand, clay and silt. Yields are about 45hl/ha. Fermentation is over 12 days.
About the grape
Cabernet Franc, an ancient variety, thrives in cooler climates because it ripens best slowly. This allows its green, vegetal flavorings to be balanced and nuanced. Green bell pepper is a frequent flavor descriptor of these wines.
Cabernet Franc tends to produce lighter, softer, more acidic and less tannic wines than Cabernet Sauvignon (the latter is an offspring of the former crossed with Sauvignon Blanc). The style of Cabernet Franc wines, which are made all over the world, can range from simple and easy drinking to dark, brooding and substantial. The best can age for decades.
About the vintage
Patrice Nau considers this one of the three best vintages of his 22 year career. 2018 had sustained and unprecedented torrid temperatures that taxed vines and fruit. Alcohol levels spiked substantially from prior vintages. The Loire Valley, with its high-acid red wines were able to balance the alcohol and rich fruit.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl 1855
The brothers Nau are (L-R in the photo) Patrice (manager and winemaker), Bertrand and their brother-in-law, Abel. Abel and Bertrand are semi-retired. They operate this 20 hectare domaine that produces about 40,000 bottles annually. The property orginally was a poly-farm but now grows only grapes commercially.
All grapes are hand-harvested and de-stemmed. They use gentle extraction known as jus de goutte (free-run wine as opposed to pressing). Vinification is done in large concrete tanks at a controlled temperature.
We seem to bump into family members all over this sprawling estate. They all are cheerful, gracious and hospitable. A few remnants of the old farm remain and we were offered fresh picked cherries after strolling through the vineyards.
This photo is from a few years back, but we couldn’t resist It so wonderfully depicts the whimsical, good-natured, down-to-earth character of this family who impart so much joy in their wines. Don’t make the mistake though of thinking they aren’t serious about wine. One taste and you will recognize they are world class.