Happy New Year everyone.
To start the year I have added a new page to this blog, Wine Of The Week. You will find the link at the top of the home page and as its title suggests I shall be highlighting one wine every week which has caught my attention during those seven days. I am posting the first entry on this page to kick start it, however it will be a freestanding hereafter so please click the link and read it in future weeks.
Each week I shall select a wine which has captured my attention for good or bad.
I could have chosen the wine with which we saw in 2016, La Vigne Haute 2011 of Mas Coutelou, but instead I have chosen a wine which I would never normally choose.
I have never been a fan of Cabernet Franc after my early visits to France 30 years ago when I tasted so many unripe, green and bitter Loire red wines. It has become a blind spot for me and people have tried to convert me without success. Greg Bureau of Bouchon Bistrot in Hexham, a native of Tours, has consistently tried to convince me of Cabernet Franc’s merits. So, when we dined at Bouchon on New Year’s Eve I promised him I would order the Bourgeuil on his wine list. And I liked it.
In fact this wine comes from one of the natural wine world’s more famous producers, Catherine and Pierre Breton. The bottle was called ‘Trinch’, of which more later. The freshness on the nose was characteristic sign of a biodynamic or natural wine. Red fruits and a streak of acidity were the first taste impressions both reflecting the bright, crimson colour of the wine. An hour later the wine had softened a little though still fresh. There were clear pepper notes, typical of the grape and Bourgeuil with just a hint of greenness. Really nice, soft enough to drink on it sown but very good with food including my excellent halibut dish. This 2014 should be drunk young.
Trinch is part of a quote from Rabelais which you can find on the domaine website. Basically it is an old term for ‘drink’ and I would be happy to drink this wine again. Was it great wine? No, but it was quite good and showed that I can enjoy Cabernet Franc. It is by no means the Bretons’ most serious wine but shows off their skills and philosophy.
Incidentally Bouchon recently won European Restaurant Of The Year in the Journal Secret Diner Awards, the latest in a long line of awards for this consistently excellent restaurant. If you are in the North East of England, try it.