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2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Two good Loire Cabernet Francs from Haynes Hanson & Clark

It is good to see a well respected UK merchant listing a range of Loire reds, so it was good to get the Winter 2013-14 list from Haynes Hanson & Clark. They list seven Loire reds. I chose to sample the 2008 Le Clos Guillot, Chinon (£16.90 a bottle or £14.97 by the case) from Bernard Baudry and the 2006 Cuvée Prestige Bourgueil (£15.85 a bottle or £14.02 by the case) from Domaine de la Lande, which also has vines in Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil and Chinon. 

We tried both on Saturday evening and then finished them on Sunday. Both are typical of their vintages – the 2006 Bourgueil more opulent and softer than the 2008, which while also having attractive fruit is more angular with the tannins and acidity more apparent. Both wines come from the limestone slopes – the Chinon being clay limestone, while the Bourgueil is on limestone and flinty soil. 

On the Saturday we paired the wines with a casserole of hare with a rich sauce finished with two squares of 90% chocolate. This matched the 2006 Bourgueil better – its opulence better suited to the richness of the dish. Sunday with a plain roast chicken the result was different as the 2008 shone through, showing more complexity than the Bourgueil.

Both wines are attractive Loire reds – nice to be able buy reasonably mature Loire examples. Of the two, the 2008 may well keep longer than the 2006, although both should easily last another two or three years though the 2008's tannin and acidity is likely to give it greater longevity. In any case the 2006 with its soft black fruits is delicious to drink now.       

Haynes Hanson & Clark Ltd also carry from the Domaine des Rochelles – 2012 L'Ardoise, Anjou Rouge and 2008 and 2007 Anjou Villages Brissac (I'd opt for the 2008); 2011 Tuffe, Saumur-Champigny (Château de Hureau) and 2009 Chinon (Domaine de la Noblaie).  

My thanks to Haynes Hanson & Clark Ltd for the samples.

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