2014 Saumur Champigny Cabernet Franc

At a glance:

Country: France
Region: Saumur Champigny
Grape(s): Cabernet Franc
Year: 2014
Maker: Domaine Joulin

Price: 14.99

I know at some point I have had a cab franc before, but it had been a while, so in my last wine store outing I bought one. I got it mostly since I didn’t remember (or never knew?) what cab francs tasted like, and because it was a grape I had heard of.  Also because it was from the Loire valley where I will hopefully be traveling later this summer. Also because it was under $15 (which, let’s be honest, was the trump card here).

I opened this bottle without really knowing what to expect (which is the norm, but writing it otherwise makes me sound smarter and like it was an adventure). Pouring it into the glass, the first thing I noticed was the color – deep, almost purple – definitely striking. Like, if I was wearing a shirt of that color, it would need to have at least the joulin cab franc.jpgtop few buttons undone to allow for the flowing of some chest hair (it’s a terrible image but I think now you know more of what I’m talking about). Should have taken a picture of the wine in the glass, but if I had done that, you would have missed that imagery, so I feel like it’s okay.

The wine was smoky, but in a compact way – reminded me the of that smell  when you are just getting the kindling started in a wood stove. And maybe say that stove is in a cedar cabin too, since the wood smell was something more than just straight up smoky. Makes me wish I was in a cabin and not stuck inside an apartment, but that’s life, so what can you do. There were also strong graphite flavors – don’t know how else to describe it, just reminded me of when I would nervously chew on my pencils in school, (they looked rough). Tasting the graphite did not make me wish I was back in grade school chewing pencils, I’ll stick to the cabin part of that memory.

Anyways, the wine was interesting, but a little tightly wound, and it didn’t totally feel balanced. It also felt like a wine that should open up and be good, but it never quite got there. It sat in our glasses while my girlfriend and I played cards (she probably won, but who remembers). We talked about what was up with the wine – maybe it needed a year or two more to sit before we drank it? I don’t really know enough about how wine changes as it gets older, but not I’ll get this one again, although I would totally buy it for the price it’s listed for in France, which according to their website is under 6 euro. Still, I am interested enough to try another cab franc, because I’m into cabins, and apparently not that put off by pencils.

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2014 Saumur Champigny Cabernet Franc

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