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2005 Le Grand-Clere (François Blanchard) Contrebasse

Cabernet Franc

  • France
  • Vin de France
Drink between 2013 - 2026 (Edit)
CT91 11 reviews
Label borrowed from 2011
Label borrowed from 2011
Label borrowed from 2011

Community Tasting Notes 11

  • LoireFan wrote: 91 points

    September 27, 2018 - Maybe past peak.

  • jimkay21 wrote: 85 points

    September 10, 2016 - Past its prime

  • dbp wrote: 87 points

    September 5, 2015 - This wine was seriously seriously funky tonight, all throughout. The nose was incredibly dark in complexion. The palate was very soft in texture, but had this really odd funky richness. Totally weird. Funky and tart on the puckering finish. Tons of acidity, but a little off putting. This isn't showing any of the beauty that I had with my bottle from 2013. I don't believe these wines are sulfured and I worry that they've lost themselves. I'll be popping another bottle soon to check in. Doesn't make sense that it'd have lasted 8 years so beautifully and then completely fallen dead at 10, though.

    1 person found this helpful Comment
  • Mr T wrote:

    August 7, 2014 - last bottle
    summer night and wanted lighter red although not sure that's what I got
    barnyard on the nose and very dark red color and no signs of age
    still rather tannic, a bit tart and some sourness as described below..this is old school and no dressed up wall of fruit here
    pleased a lot of people

    1 person found this helpful Comment
  • LoireFan wrote: 91 points

    January 5, 2014 - Still very young but I really enjoyed this bottle.

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  • By Jon Rimmerman
    7/27/2007 (link)

    (Contrebasse) Contrebasse Dear Friends, Is this the wine of the 2005 vintage in the Loire? A strong argument can be made that Francois Blanchard is one of Europe’s most innovative and influential winemakers and one that has the potential to change an entire generation of vignerons. Never heard of him? You will. With only 600-800 bottles produced (50+/- cases and basically all of it sold already on pre-arrival), this is as limited as it gets in one of the finest Cabernet Franc vintages of our time. From the epicenter of 2005, this wine is produced from incredible terroir around Chinon as a free-thinking expression of the vintage, a counter-bass to the resounding thunder of the modern movement that is creeping into the Loire. Where most of the top 2005s have already been bottled and moved through the market, this is still resting in concrete vats buried in the ground and old barrels (it will be bottled next week). Asked why it has not been bottled yet and the answer is simple - “the alarm clock of the perfume had not gone off until last week”. From the very highest vineyard land in the area between Chinon and Touraine - one that receives the salt influence of the Atlantic nearby, Francois Blanchard produces this wine that is meant to be a singular expression of Cabernet Franc with no chemicals and no help of any kind from enzymes or artificial yeasts - it is what it is and that is purity in its most basic and gritty sense. If you’ve lost the plot and wish to regain the path to the long and winding road of winedom, this should be your guiding light. Think of Blanchard as the Henri Bonneau of the Loire (except 40 years younger) and you will get the idea. In 2005, the climactic conditions were so ideal that the old, gnarled Franc vines gave tannins like a woven web of silken strength that could never be created by man - this wine was crafted by nature and it will probably never be produced again (at least not with the conditions of 2005). It is the type of expressive beverage that defines wine drinking and acts as a score that will spawn a cadre of copycats that will never quite get it right because you can’t get it right by trying - that is the whole point. The ecosystem that lives at Le Grand Clere is whole and entire. It is a combination of forest, water, grass, sun, soil, wind, air and elevation that encourages animal life to frolic in the vineyards and if the wild pigs eat some of the fruit then so be it. This is how the estate would have thrived in the 15th century and that is how Blanchard wants it. Black to the point of being impenetrable with a ferocious presence of dense red and black fruit that conjures up the image of wading through a quicksand bog of extract and substance. This is why we drink wine and why I get up every morning to be the conduit to something meaningful and (hopefully) something important in the lives of our diverse customer base. Drinking the Contrebasse is like pouring melted rocks into your mouth, slathered with gritty grape essence and the sweet, sultry style of the 2005 vintage singing the first, middle and last verse of the story. An exceptional wine that should last for 20-30 years and is so under priced for the quality level it almost qualifies as a price/value star. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ONE SHIPMENT ONLY directly from the winery cellar with perfect provenance 2005 Le Grand Clere “Contrebasse” Thank you, Jon Rimmerman Garagiste Seattle, WA Loire9903

Wine Definition

  • Vintage 2005
  • Type Red
  • Producer Le Grand-Clere (François Blanchard)
  • Varietal Cabernet Franc
  • Designation Contrebasse
  • Vineyard n/a
  • Country France
  • Region France
  • SubRegion n/a
  • Appellation Vin de France

Community Holdings

  • Pending Delivery 6 (7%)
  • In Cellars 37 (41%)
  • Consumed 47 (52%)

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