"The 2013 “Vendanges Manuelles” bottling of Cour-Cheverny from François Cazin is a very pretty bottle, but as predicted a year ago, it is a full point lower in alcohol than the fine 2012 version, tipping the scales at 11.5 percent. This has produced a rather delicately styled wine that is still bubbly with personality on both the nose and palate, with the bouquet offering up scents of green apple, a touch of wet wool, lime peel, wet stones and dried flowers in the upper register. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied, bright and quite wide open, with a very respectable core, fine focus and grip and a long, soil-driven and impressively complex finish. This is a very pretty middleweight that is drinking very well out of the blocks, but should cruise along nicely for at least five to seven years. A very strong result from 2013. 2015-2020+."
|Cheverny is one of the most recent appellations in the Loire Valley (1991). The area, south of the Loire and abutting the marshy region of Sologne (the best hunting grounds in France), has produced wines since the 6th century. The soils consist of various combinations of clay, limestone and silica. Many varietals are planted: Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet and Cot for red wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin and Menu Pineau for the whites. By legislation, a Cheverny wine has to be a blend of varietals, and Francois Cazin’s white is 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chardonnay.
Cazin tends vines of considerable age and the resulting yields are well below average in any given year. His Cheverny is fresh and floral, with appley-texture and crisp acidity. The flavors are sleek and precise. Since 1997, the wine has been bottled unfiltered by gravity. His wines have consistently been the top pick of the vintage at the annual Loire Valley wine show in Angers.
Cazin also makes a cuvee of Cour-Cheverny, exclusively from the ancient local grape Romorantin. This varietal, with its high acidity and minerality, is angular and rough in mediocre vintages. But when it achieves high ripeness, the wine has astonishing grapey, apricot and roasted nuts flavors, kept fresh and lively by good acidity. In very ripe vintages, when the grapes undergo passerillage or noble rot, Cazin vinifies some of his Romorantin off-dry, calling it Cuvee Renaissance.