Domaine Patrick Baudouin
2003 Anjou Villages
Cabernet Franc •Anjou Villages AOC
France: Loire Valley
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Mission Codename: The Devil is in the… wine!
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Our Operatives love great Cabernet Franc. Return to France for the perfect Cabernet Franc and secure an ample quantity for our new International Sunday Selection program
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Anjou Villages – Domaine Patrick Boudouin
Wine Subject: 2003 Cabernet Franc
Winemaker: Patrick Boudouin
Cabernet Franc is one of Agent Red’s favorite red varietals. Perhaps this is because its flavors are often rich, layered, complex and elegant. Or, perhaps he loves Cabernet Franc so much because it pairs so exceptionally with many different foods.
One of the most notable things about Cabernet Franc is the fact that finding excellent examples can be very difficult. On a recent extended mission, Agent Red tasted a broad selection of a Cabernet Franc wines. He returned with 5 exceptional Cabernet Francs and subjected them to an extended evaluation. Here he presents his favorite.
We are also very pleased to welcome back Agent K, one of our guest Sommelier reviewers. From time to time, Agent K contributes to our reviews by her lending us her sophisticated palate and love of wine. We extend our special thanks to Agent K, whose comments can be seen below.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep, dark garnet, bordering on purple with thick, medium fast legs that glisten down the glass
Smell – Complex and earthy. Stemmy with mild barnyard, clean compost, mulch and stone
Feel – Initially wet, then dry with medium weight and grippy all-over-mouth tannins
Taste – Deeply layered, mouth coating flavors of dark fruit, moss, truffle, leather and cranberry
Finish – Smooth, with the majority of flavors that fall off quickly, leaving behind a pleasing horsey raspberry and pleasant dryness
Conclusion – One must try an authentic French Cabernet Franc if one is to understand the range, depth and complexity that is possible with this outstanding varietal. This particular Cabernet Franc exudes complexity, character and old-world charm. Not as fruity as its wonderful American counterparts, don’t let some of the descriptions above fool you. This wine is very good, and it has American-palate-pleasing fruit, which carries it along nicely.
Agent K, Sommelier, says:
“Undergrowth and barnyard drive this wine with hints of raspberry and leather. The palate is supple and mouth-coating, balanced and smooth with cranberry and gooseberry, vanilla and mushrooms.”
Frances Loire Valley is the region most famous for turning out great Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Franc is particularly suited to the middle region of the Loire Valley where Patrick’s wines come from.
Patrick Bodouin is quite a colorful character and I suspect that the devil that graces his Anjou Villages label is his alter-ego. He grew up in the Layon region of the Loire Valley but left to find his fortune in Paris where he toiled as a laborer and then as a librarian. He eventually gave up that noble profession to return to the Loire and the vineyards of his grandparents. As a winemaker (and as Parker points out), Patrick is passionate about “natural” winemaking. This term for him refers to exhorting the vines to give their best in the vineyard so that intervention in the winery is minimal and the resulting wines “natural.”
This wine is a wonderful example; a Cabernet Franc that some have called the perfect, authentic and quintessential real French Cab Franc. I agree that, if you love Cab Franc, this is certainly one to try. As the only imported Cabernet Franc to make it into my Top 5, it gets my heartiest recommendation.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Loire Valley where this exceptional wine was born can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Anjou Villages 2003 – First vintage of complete organic conversion, a wine that is a superb example of Cabernet Franc, rich and concentrated. This wine will easily drink well into 2008. 100% Cabernet Franc.
Robert Parker on This Winery:
Here’s what Robert Parker has said about Patrick and his wines in the Wine Advocate:
“Patrick Baudouin is one of the producers of Coteaux du Layon derogatorily known by some of their peers as “sugar hunters.” An intelligent and quality-driven vigneron, Baudouin makes every effort to draw as much sweetness and concentration out of his grapes as possible. He refuses to chapitalise his wines, which the laws governing the appellation allow….”
“I rarely encounter red wines from the Loire Valley as good as those produced by Patrick Baudouin. Among other things, they are excellent values in relation to the current market. …Amateurs who may not know Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley will be inspired when they try these.”
About The Winemaker:
Patrick is an exceptional and demanding winemaker whose wines have many times been rated over 90 points by Robert Parker and the Wine Spectator. Of particular note, his special cuvee, Couteaux du Layon “Apres Minuit” 1996 was rated “99” by Parker. Patrick is passionate about making completely natural wines and has completely converted his Domaine to organic viticulture. He is also a founding and active member of a new French organization devoted to the promotion of organic wine growing.
About the Anjou Villages AOC:
Originally designated in 1986, this red wine only appellation is known for its superior wine. The Cabernet Francs and Cabernet Sauvignons from this AOC are among the best the Loire Valley has to offer. The red wines from this region are know to be deeply colored and a creamy-raspberry bouquet and taste.