WINE OF THE MONTH
Cabernet Franc 2018
Loire Valley, France $14
We are on the cusp of a new season, and with that, a brand new WOTM has arrived. Admittedly, March can be a difficult wine for us to pick. Much like the weather this time of year, it’s tricky. Here at Divino, we must choose a Spring wine that not only works on cold snowy days, but will also entice you on a sunny, balmy day in April. Something equally as good with warming pot roast, as it is with the first outdoor grilling of the year. Luckily, the Divino team has found yet another stunner up for the challenge.
Full disclosure, however, I initially let my opinions cloud my judgment on the task of choosing our newest wine, #ONO. I think hashtags are rather stupid. Can we, in good faith, feature a wine that may be delicious, but has a silly hashtag in the name? Will Dave be able to look past that while designing the poster? Serious questions. I was later informed of the young, female winemaker, whose name is Honorine Pain. Nicknamed Ono. Oh. Okay, I’ll allow it.
The Pain family runs a small estate in Chinon, in the sleepy commune of Panzoult, making classic Loire wines. Growing up in the winery, Honorine’s fascination with winemaking began at an early age. As the youngest daughter, she has strived to find a place for herself within the family Domaine, while also creating a line of her own expression. The #ONO wines are a more modern approach, and don’t meet completely with AOC restrictions for Chinon, thus the Vin de France designation. It also means a smaller price tag. Estate-grown grapes are hand-harvested, fermented in stainless steel, and then aged in large oak casks, resulting in a lovely, fresh style.
On the nose, classic green peppercorn, with dried violets, brushed suede, roasted peppers, and crunchy red fruits. The palate is supple, with savory fruit followed by soft herbs, reminiscent of oregano and rosemary. Fresh and juicy, with lingering delicate acidity, and soft chalky minerality. Medium-bodied, low tannin, and highly quaffable.
This Cab Franc has enough acidity and minerality to be paired with food, but soft and lively enough to be great on its own as well. Pair with seared duck breast with farro risotto, white pizza with roasted wild mushroom and chèvre, cassoulet with elk sausage, or black lentils with herbed crème fraiche.