Under $20 Value Wine Pick – 2006 Domaine Richou Anjou Rouge “4 Chemins”, Loire Valley, France

Winery: Domaine RichouRichouFront

Bottling: 2006 Anjou Rouge “4 Chemins” (Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon).

Importer: Vintage ’59 Imports

Region: France

Sub-Region: Anjou, Loire Valley

Estimated Retail Price: $15

Purchase Details: Purchased for $14.99 plus tax at the K&L Wine Merchant in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco.

Tasting Notes: Looking at the wine in the glass, I see a dark, opaque purple core with dark red edges.  On the nose, perfumed aromas of violets, fresh dark fruit, and a little meat and pepper.  Flavors of fresh blackberries, plum, pepper and more violets lead to a lasting spicy finish.

The wine had surprising grip on the palate as well as an underlying refreshing acidity that would allow it to pair well with a range of different foods.

Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: Bistro, bistro, bistro food.  Croque monsieur, French onion soup, charcuterie et fromage!

RichouBackWinery & Other Background Information: The Anjou region sits in the central part of the Loire Valley.  The Richou estate is located deep in the Anjou Noire; so called because of the geological makeup of dark granite and schist.  It’s this slate-like rock that gives red Anjou wines their dark color, meaty intensity and burly tannins that I described above.

The estate is run by two brothers, Didier and Damien Richou.  Didier handles vinification, while Damien’s responsibilities lie in the vineyard, where chemical fertilizers are eschewed and harvesting is done by hand.  They also produce several chenin blanc bottlings, a gamay based wine, a cremant and a dessert wine.

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