Region: Saumur-Champigny - Loire, France
Grape: Cabernet Franc
First glance: Structured, spicy, elegant Cab Franc
Antoine Sanzay is out of a grape growing family that have cultivated fruit on the limestone plateaus along the Loire river for generations. For a long time the family's grapes were sold to a local co-op, but today Antoine makes wines of his own from the estates fruit. Having trained with some of the regions greats, most notably at the legendary Clos Rougeard, this family estate can today be counted amongst the top producers of the region. The estate is certified organic and works with select biodynamic practices.
Antoine holds an impressive 4 hectare plot in this Loire "Grand Cru" that indeed the famous Clos Rougeard have championed for years. A south/southeast facing lime and sandstone slope with only a thin layer of top soil, forces the 1965 planted vines to dig deep into the sedimentary rock below.
A slow and prolonged 30 day fermentation in wooden vats is followed by 18 months in purely old oak. Extraction is always kept gentle.
The Best Cellars View:
A higher toned and supremely elegant style of Loire Cab Franc. Plenty of pungent black currant, dark cherry and blackberry, nuanced by violets and an array of fresh green herbs. A classic Franc expression through and through. Medium toward full bodied with firm but fine tannin, bright acidity and just the right amount of gentle rusticity. A pleasure now, but no shame in lying bottles down for a few years.