A Stunning Loire White

A Stunning Loire White

Posted on Jan, 21. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

2007 Francois Cazin, Cour Cheverny
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $13.19 • Premier Cru: $13.79 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $17.99
Buy this wine!

A little while back I met with our representative from Roanoke Valley Wines to taste some of the French selections in their portfolio. This was an exciting tasting for me as Roanoke carries the top French wine importers in the Country: Kermit Lynch, Louis Dressner, and Eric Solomon to name but a few. Kermit Lynch in particular is a favorite wine importer of mine. This guy was doing it when no one else in the country would or could. He is to French wine what Julia Child was to French Cuisine. It is overwhelmingly hilarious to read his old sales pamphlets. There is an underling note of desperation in his write ups as he tries to explain to his 1960/70’s American audience that First Growth Bordeaux is really worth the $20-$30 it costs.

Kermit started it all, but the second wave of great wine importers had to define their own vision. Kermit was one of the first, he had first pick and was bringing in the best stuff from all over France but what really made him excellent was his passion for the unknown gems around France. He put Bandol on the map with his beloved Tempier and he dang near put the Rhone on the map by himself as well.

Following his lead, the race for importing French wine soon became a race to discover the hidden “best” in the obscure regions all over France. These days it is Louis Dressner who is perhaps the best in this field. Dressner’s book is so vast and yet so esoteric that it is represented in Virginia by 2 separate distributors. Every wine in Dressner’s book has a fantastic story behind it and a dedicated wine maker who is striving to be the top in his or her field. Dressner seeks out those who have this dedication and who have all of the components that come together to make great wine no matter where they are making it. They focus on those who are using sustainable, organic or even biodynamic methods in the fields and yet you will almost never see the certifications on the label because for them it is a matter of course and not a sales gimmick.

A tasting through a Dressner selection is like an education in great wine and every time I am confronted with a few of them I learn something new.

The wine that has me all geeked up right now is from Francois Cazin. It is from a small sub AOC region called Cour Cheverny which is in the heart of the greater Cheverny region in northern Loire Valley.

Cazin tends vines of considerable age and the resulting yields are well below average in any given year. His Cheverny is fresh and floral, with appley-texture and crisp acidity. The flavors are sleek and precise. Since 1997, the wine has been bottled unfiltered by gravity. His wines have consistently been the top pick of the vintage at the annual Loire Valley wine show in Angers. – Joe Dressner

A meticulous viticulteur, Cazin still insists on picking entirely by hand. Once the harvest is in the fruit is moved only by gravity, fermented using wild yeasts, and bottled unfiltered. The results can be fabulous in my limited experience, these being wines of purity, minerality and a sweet-sour vibrancy that makes my mouth water for more. -The Wine Doctor

This wine is 100% Romorantin as is the rule the Cour Cheverny AOC. And although this is a grape varietal perhaps few of us are familiar with, the wine has a deliciously identifiable palate of citrus fruit, vibrant minerality, creamy body, chestnut or hazel nut tones, great acidic backbone and, my favorite, length. My notes say “Chablis” and indeed this wine has a distinct Chablisian quality even though it retains its Loire mineral distinction.

A great white with tons of character. Perfect for meals or contemplating on its own.

2007 Francois Cazin, Cour Cheverny
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $13.19 • Premier Cru: $13.79 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $17.99
Buy this wine!

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