WTN Domaine des Roches Neuves Terres Chaudes Saumur-Champigny, Loire 2002 $25. From Andrea Immer Wine Club. 100% Cabernet Franc; 12.5% alcohol, imported by Vos Selections Inc., NYC.
Deep red color, deep hue, lovely aroma of earth, flowers, fruit and mild spice; excellent Cab Franc flavors; firm acidity, medium mouth feel; long lingering finish. A very impressive wine, especially at this price point. 4 1/2*.
As mentioned in an earlier post, I've enjoyed Immer's books and lectures, and her supplemental information on the wines are up to her high standers. She gives a bit of history of the wine area, noted that Cabernet Franc is "a challenge to ripen in many vintages (even in California). In 2002 the grapes wereperfectly ripe yet still balanced with the great acidity that comes from the cooler Loire climate. The cooler climate also gives it lighter body, making the wine perfect to serve with
summer’s fresher fare, even lightly chilled if you need to cool off."
Her tasting note: "The scent is quite incredible. There are earthy layers of dust, smoke and tar, as well as a floral note like violets and lavender. The flavors are of dark raspberries and a hint of herbs, and the texture is really sleek. I love this simple food pairing with it, because the beets showcase the wine’s earthy terroir, while the goat cheese tones down its acidity and teases out the wine’s great fruit."
We were both very pleased with my riff on Immer's accompanying recipe:
ROASTED BEET AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD Serves 4
8-10 baby beets
Pure olive oil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bunch frisee, washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
Juice of half a lemon, approximately
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
2 oz fresh goat cheese
Trim the stems and roots from the beets and place on a large square of aluminum foil.
Drizzle the beets with olive oil and season with thyme, salt and pepper, tossing to coat.
Tightly close the foil and roast the beets at 350°F until tender, about 1 hour. Remove and
set aside to cool. Meanwhile in a bowl combine the frisee, lemon juice and extra virgin
olive oil, tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper and arrange the mixture evenly on
serving plates. Using gloves or paper towels to protect your hands from the color, rub the
roasted beets to remove their skins, and slice the beets. Arrange the beets atop the greens
and top with crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with additional olive oil if desired and serve.
By happenstance, I grew a few head of frisee lettuce this year -- not a favorite lettuce, but it worked fine in this recipe.