Beatrice et Pascal Lambert - Les Terrasses, Chinon, Loire, France (2021)
From the heartland of Cabernet Franc, this textbook, naturally made, dry Chinon exudes a little peppery-ness on top of ripe red fruit and green bell pepper. The palate has chalky, but fine tannins, all spice and anise along with a fairly full texture and long, persistent finish.
Founded in 1987 near the town of Chinon, at the locality of Les Chesnaies, Beatrice and Pascal have been carefully cultivating Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc on approximately 13 hectares, in soils that range between sand and gravel deposits, limestone-clay soils and flint based clay soils. For over 20 years, between Chinon and Cravant-les Coteaux, the estate has been practicing organic viticulture and biodynamic preparations since 2005, becoming certified in 2012. With their trusty draft-horse Isis, they plow the rows between the vines, planting each year different cover crops to assist in the uptake of the biodynamic preparations while adding back nutrients for the following season. They closely follow the lunar cycle from vineyard to cellar, only using indigenous yeasts with fermentation occurring in concrete or wooden vats, while maturing and aging are adapted according to the different terroirs and can be either concrete and wood, followed by racking and bottling according to the lunar cycles as well. Their overall purpose is to accentuate the purity of the terroir from which their vines come, while allowing them to elaborate on their personalities in the cellar.
Made from 100% Cabernet Franc, the grapes are grown on alluvial glacial silex soils in the Vallee de Cravant les Coteaux with an average vine age of 10 to 30 years old. The grapes are hand harvested and left to macerate in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts for about fifteen days. The wine rests for a period of 6-12 months in concrete vats with no sulphites added until bottling. The wine is bottled unfined with just a light filtration.