K&L Loire Flight (San Francisco): Light red, fading outer third. Another strange mix of fennel stalkiness and baked red fruit. Medium weight. Equally jarring on the palate with competing green, minty notes and chocolate in the background. Utterly unsatisfying.
Another really good bottle of this, consistent with my last note. So vibrant and savoury with vivid tobacco and green herbal/forestal elements framing very pure red and dark fruited flavours. There's surprisingly bright acidity for the vintage and great balance, and this disappears rather quickly. Fantastic.
This is fantastic. There's nothing remotely heavy, roasted or overripe here. The fruit's maybe a bit darker complexioned and richer than what I normally find in Breton's Cab Francs, but it's still incredibly pure and vibrant with a bright acid spine keeping it very well balanced and fresh, and it's lovely both on its own and with food.
Medium center, lighter, tawny rim. Very fragrant with cassis fruit and mint. Lovely medium weight, ripe fruit with some sweetness, a strong ground coffee note, then ripe but fine grained tannins. Notably good acidity for a 2003. This is drinking wonderfully now and is free of overripeness or heat.
Even, medium ruby. Mostly menthol and herbs on the nose, but some cherry fruit as well. Medium weight, blacker fruit with a spicy, chocolate aspect, good acidity, and surprisingly severe, drying tannins. Good, but the components were not nearly as well meshed as in a bottle we had last spring. Certainly not overly ripe, but the tannin seems as it though it will be pretty imposing going forward.
Loire Spring Dinner (Heirloom Cafe, San Francisco): Saturated ruby. Intoxicating aromatic mix of mint and green herbs. Medium bodied (full for the universe of Loire Cabernet Franc). Gentle, carressing feel, excellent red fruit and olive, some herb. I don't think anyone would have guessed that this was from this notoriously hot vintage-not a trace of heat or overripeness. Marvelous and just beginning to round into form. This may be the best (and just about the only!!) 2003 European red that I own.
Time has served this wine well. Still a bit stewy, but now, with another 3 years in bottle, this impresses as a warm richness. Compoted red and black fruits, with a bit of fresh tobacco and dried herbs. The structure that seemed missing in 2007 is here now. A really nice bottle of wine and completely unexpected.
Heavy, dark and brooding. Primary aromas and flavors of stewed fruits. Clumsy and short on the finish and lacking zip and freshness. In this case, the Breton's winemaking prowess couldn't overcome the difficult vintage.