Thursday, February 16, 2023

Couly-Dutheil Chinon Rosé René

Couly-Dutheil Chinon Rosé René Couly Cabernet Franc 2021

We very rarely do Rose' wines but opened this one with some hearty artisan cheeses we picked up that were said to favor such wines. I was intrigued by this label that is 100% Cabernet Franc, a Bordeaux varietal normally produced as a bold spicy red wine or in the blend to add color, structure and spicy flavors.  We served an aged Gouda, a Havarti and a Raclette cheese which we discovered when it was featured in our spectacular dinner the other night at 3-Michelin Star Alinea Restaurant.

Domaine Couly Dutheil is managed by Arnaud Couly Dutheil, great-grandson of Baptiste Dutheil who founded the Domaine in 1921. Established by Baptiste Dutheil, then developed by René Couly who married Madeleine Dutheil, the House of Couly-Dutheil has become over the years one of the great name for Chinon wines. Today, Couly-Dutheil remains a family house owned by the third and fourth generation. 
The Chinon appellation surrounds the historic town of Chinon, and encompasses 26 communes on both sides of the Vienne River, a tributary of the Loire, up to the point where it joins the Loire. The terroir consists of alluvial terraces of sand and gravel that were deposited by the Vienne . The region enjoys a temperate climate of semi-oceanic type favorable to the cultivation of wine.
The Chinon region terroir has all the qualities of the greatest soils, semi-oceanic climate that is exceptionally mild and benefits of long sunny periods. The variety of soils and their particular qualities allows the Cabernet Franc (98% of the vineyard plantings) to express all its fineness and its celebrated “taffetas” within a range of strong personalities. 
The Couly Dutheil Estate owns 235 aeres of vineyards in Chinon and 17 acres in Turquant, in the Saumur and Saumur Champigny appellations. The best plots of the Domaine are a showcase of the different terroirs of the Chinon appellation.  

The Domaine contains the famous “Clos de l'Olive” and “Clos de L’Echo” vineyards. Monopole Couly Dutheil Clos de l'Echo and Clos de l'Olive located opposite the fortress of Chinon, on clay-limestone soils, with the presence of blue clays, the same ones that made the reputation of the legendary Pétrus.  
Domaine Couly Dutheil is best known for three powerful and complex cuvées, from plots planted with vines aged 50 years and over: Clos de L'Echo, Clos de L'Olive and Clos de l'Echo Crescendo. These three cuvées have achieved a worldwide reputation. 
While Couly Dutheil is most known for its Chinon rosé, they also produce white wines, a rarity for the Chinon appellation. Chinon blanc Les Chanteaux: exclusively from Chenin, a cuvée that requires 3 to 4 sortings produces a “tender dry” wine with aromas of white fruits and citrus fruits. 
Couly-Dutheil Chinon Rosé René Couly Cabernet Franc 2021 
Chinon Rosé René Couly is produced by pressing the grapes, selected from a parcel  exclusively in Chinon. It produces a wine described by the winemaker: "
lovely pink color, with a fresh and fruity nose showing floral notes. A fruited palate with persistent and refreshing flavors, this wine is well-balanced, easy to drink and elegant. Delightfully aromatic and showcasing the classic structure associated with the Chinon terroir, this rosé wine is perfectly suited to enjoy as an aperitif and to accompany a meal. Can be kept for two or three years."

Wine pundit Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast says, "Pure Cabernet Franc gives this wine both its smooth texture and perfumed character. Vanilla and ripe strawberry fruits make a comfortable mélange of flavors. Drink the wine now". Roger Voss WE 87 points. 

Pink colored, light medium bodied, aromatic with floral and stone fruit notes, nicely balanced for pleasant easy drinking although it is firmly structured such that it could be an aperitif or stand up to food or hearty cheese. Such was the case tonight and it proved to be a wise choice for pairing.
RM 88 points