“L’Epée”, Chinon Rouge
“L’Epée”—meaning “the sword”—is produced from ⅔ free-run and ⅓ press juice from the oldest Cabernet Franc vines in “Les Plantes” and a small portion of “Le Clos.” Fermentation is left to start naturally in stainless steel tanks, lasting for about 3 weeks, then aged in a combination of steel tank and well-used oak barrels. With deep aromatics, this wine displays a register of spice with an overlay of violets and a core of dark-red and black fruits. That said, L’Epée” does not want for lift, as the acidity is crisp and ringing and its overall personality—while indeed serious—is not at all brooding or severe. This is a remarkably classic, lovable Chinon whose ruggedness suggests it will age well.