’89 Chateau de Chaintres Saumur-Champigny

First off, let me start by saying there are a lot of things that this wine simply is not: robust, fruit forward, vibrant wouldn’t depict the character of this old chap very well. However, it is stunningly elegant.

My local shop clerk, Dirk at DeVine Wines, suggested I try this and on paper (Cab Franc from the Loire) I didn’t quite appreciate the allure. Many Loire reds are unoaked and fresh in style and therefore are more or less made for drinking within the first few years of release. So after almost 20 years what will it give us?

With a nose of capsicum, violets and meaty game, it surprised the heck out of me. Really lively for it’s age. The palate is velvety dark cherry – black forest cake? – with floral notes, and the finish is soft as it drifts away.

It was quite cloudy in the decanter and the cork was barely holding up. I suppose that happens after 19 years. But this was a really nice wine, alluring in its elegance with what is surely one of the best noses I’ve experienced.


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