Domaine Dozon’s 2018 Clos du Saut au Loup Chinon captures the unassuming taster from the moment the cork exits the bottle. Before one can even take a sip, the wine’s dazzling ruby red robe and sensuous, downright alluring aroma pretty much seal the deal. The wine’s raspberry, wild black cherry, and fresh forest floor aromas beguile the nose before seamlessly flowing into the marrow of the wine, only to re-emerge in the mouth. Smooth, ripe tannins provide just the ideal canvas upon which the fruit, herb, and spice characters of the 2018 Clos du Saut au Loup Chinon are annealed. “Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous” are the only words to describe this youthful, sleek, medium-bodied Cabernet Franc. As Dozon’s Chinon is thoroughly French in style, elegance rather than brawn takes precedence in the 2018 Clos du Saut au Loup Chinon. Kudos to Eric Santier for a beautiful rendering of 100% Cabernet Franc from the superlative 2018 vintage in Chinon. For optimal enjoyment, afford this beauty 20-30 minutes of aeration before consuming at cool room temperature (58°-64° F). Enjoy!
The suave, complex flavors and supreme balance of Domaine Dozon’s 2018 Clos du Saut au Loup Chinon pair beautifully with a variety of meat, vegetable and even seafood dishes. A duo of Veal Medallions and Lamb Loin wrapped with prosciutto ham gets a serious nod as does Roasted Colorado Rack of Lamb, served with potato gnocchi, pearl onions, and mushrooms. Other winning accompaniments to this wine include roast duck with a blackberry sauce, Cornish hens, or game birds with truffles. For a less parochial, yet equally delicious accompaniment, consider pairing Domaine Dozon’s versatile 2018 Clos du Saut au Loup Chinon with roasted salmon with beets glazed with an herby tarragon vinaigrette. Many types of soft cow’s milk cheeses, too, provide plenty of pleasure in the company of Eric Santier’s 2018 Clos du Saut au Loup Chinon Cabernet Franc. However, whatever your choice of complement, Eric Santier’s superb Cabernet Franc is sure shine. Bon Appétit!
Domaine Dozon is a very old property in the venerable Loire Valley appellation of Chinon, which has long been renowned for its superlative red wine from 100% Cabernet Franc. Domaine Dozon served for many years as a feed and livestock farm until the early 20th century when Domaine Dozon acquired the distinguished monopole Clos du Saut au Loup and converted it entirely to viticulture. Few of France’s revered vineyards are monopoles (acclaimed single vineyards controlled entirely by one owner). In 2013, the erudite Eric Santier, a Chinon native, purchased the entire Clos du Saut au Loup from Laure Dozon with the help of the Baudry family, Chinon’s most distinguished producer of Chinon and with whom Santier worked.
Eric Santier has revived the esteemed Clos du Saut au Loup monopole by employing sustainable methods of viticulture. In fact, Clos du Saut au Loup is presently in the process of converting entirely to organic farming. Eric has also discarded older, less desirable barrels and equipment, and he is replacing them with modern state of the art materials. The results of Santier’s endeavors have been both immediate and sensational. Under his tenure, Domaine Dozon’s Clos du Saut au Loup Chinon has garnered numerous 90 point ratings and is now one of the most respected wines in the appellation. In the best tradition of Chinon, Domaine Dozon’s Clos du Saut au Loup emanates from 100% Cabernet Franc that is pure, fresh, and beautifully rendered.
The Loire is France’s longest and most picturesque river, and the valley that bears its name is known affectionately as le jardin de France (the garden of France). From the Loire’s lush gardens, pastures, and vineyards flow a treasure trove of fruits, vegetables, and wines to grace elegant tables throughout France, including those in the most fashionable temples of gastronomy in Paris.
Given the Loire’s length, varied terroir, and multitude of microclimates, it is not surprising that this vast region produces a wide array of wines. From the chalky hills on the upper reaches of the river as it bends in sight of Burgundy come several of the world’s finest dry white wines in the guise of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Menetou-Salon and Quincy – all from Sauvignon Blanc. As the river flows west towards the heart of France, Chenin Blanc predominates and fine, soft sparkling wines and the superlative sweet wines of Touraine and Anjou emerge from green hills in sight of stately châteaux. And by the time the slow moving Loire reaches the sea near Nantes, it becomes the home of Muscadet, a quaffable, fresh, bone dry white wine that is superlative with seafood.
The majority of the Loire’s most celebrated wines are white, but one should not miss the growing number of excellent red wines being made in “the garden of France.” Cabernet Franc is the most important red varietal in the Loire, at least in terms of quality, but some very good Gamay based wines can be found as well. Bourgueil and Chinon are the most notable appellations along the Loire for Cabernet Franc, each with a history for fashioning distinctive velvety red wines.
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