The 2011 Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges (translates to the barns) is 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from organic Estate vineyards in the Chinon AOP inside the Loire Valley in central Western France. If you see Chinon on the label of a Red wine the grape will be Cabernet Franc, usually as a single varietal, but sometimes with a little Cabernet Sauvignon blended in. The Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges was aged in both used oak barrels and cement vats and is considered a “drink it now” wine, it will not improve with aging. The alcohol content is 12.5%.
The color is plum red with a black center. The nose is rich, ripe blackberry and black cherry, along with milk chocolate. The Les Granges is a sleek wine, with excellent length, smooth tannins and balanced acidity. It tastes of raspberry, strawberry along with a firm slap of minerality. With many American wines, the fruit flavors are the dominant feature of the wine,but here, while the flavors are delicious, the textures, the structure and the balance are equal in importance to the flavor. The finish is full and very long.
The 2011 Bernard Baudry Les Granges is a beautiful and fairly affordable (between $15 and $20) entry into the wines of Chinon. If you read wine reviews and are not really sure what the writer is talking about when they reference structure texture and balance, sample a wine such as the Les Granges and it will become clear. It is not simply a tasty drink, it is the essence of a well made wine. In know the French section of your wine shop can be confusing, but if you are in the mood for some Cabernet Franc, all you have to do is look for Chinon on the label.