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VOL. 126 | NO. 236 | Monday, December 05, 2011



Joguet Gives Prominence to Cabernet Franc

FREDRIC KOEPPEL | Special to The Memphis News

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Most people who have a smattering of knowledge about wine understand that the cabernet franc grape plays third fiddle to cabernet sauvignon and merlot in Bordeaux. There’s another wine region in France, though, where as a red grape cabernet franc reigns supreme, and that’s in the central Loire Valley appellations of Chinon and Bourgueil. Chinon is the better-known, both as an area and as a wine, and with thoughtful treatment, the cabernet franc grape here may achieve extraordinary levels of intensity and purity.

Vineyards owned by the family of the Charles Joguet estate were noted for their quality as far back as the Renaissance, though as was often the case, generations sold their grapes to be blended by cooperatives rather than making wine themselves. This situation changed when young Charles Joguet abandoned an art career in 1957 and took over the property, determined not only to make wine but to make wine from single vineyards.

For Your Very Own Bottle

Joe’s Wines & Liquors
1681 Poplar Ave., $27
Buster’s Wine & Liquors
191 S. Highland St., $27
Great Wines & Spirits
6150 Poplar Ave., $27

The Charles Joguet Cuvée Terroir Chinon 2009 is the estate’s basic product. The wine, which has no exposure to oak, practically revels in its dark, ripe, smoky, spicy, fleshy character. This is sleek with finely milled tannins and feisty with brisk acidity for a vibrant structure.

Give it patience and it draws up a potent perfume of fresh and dried flowers, graphite, black olives, bittersweet chocolate and cedar that segues smoothly into a robust yet almost elegant expression of the grape’s black currant and blueberry flavors set into a deep, dense, chewy texture. Does such a description bring to mind braised short ribs, veal shanks, cassoulet and duck confit? So be it.

For more about wine, check out Koeppel’s blog at www.biggerthanyourhead.net.

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