Laurent Herlin Tsoin Tsoin 2020
Grape: Cabernet Franc, Gamay
Geography: Loire Valley, France
Organic, Biodynamic, No sulfites added
With the delayed start to the 2020 Le Tour de France, we here at Cheese and Wine Traders are keeping with tradition this July and honoring wines made from the amazing countryside throughout France. This year's course doesn’t, however, travel through the Loire Valley, but how could I talk about French wines without mentioning, and drinking Cabernet Franc!?
Laurent Herlin worked with computers in the modern world before he bought 15 acres around Bourgueil and decided to farm like it was olden times. Biodynamics is beyond regular organic farming; it's a way of life. The clock is no longer the timekeeper because nature tells you when to plant, harvest, and nourish your grapes. This is the best way to let true terroir speak through the wine. Naturally, Laurent puts his own twist on Cabernet Franc. A natural carbonically macerated Cab Franc/Gamay blend, super chuggable. This year it's 20% Gamay, 80% Cabernet Franc. Laurent makes this lovely, easy-drinking light red wine from 35-year old biodynamic Cabernet Franc vines in Bourgueil on stony soils, blended with 5-year-old Gamay planted to clay. After a manual harvest, they are carbonically macerated for 15 days, separately fermented using indigenous yeasts, and then quickly bottled, unfined and lightly filtered.
Most Bourgueils are dense, tannic, and age-worthy, but Tsoin Tsoin is a fresh and vibrant wine, light medium-bodied, dry. Fruity and fresh with dark berry, olive, and some green branch notes. Nicely balanced tannin, acidity, and fruit. A tangy mineral backbone ending in a long finish. Pairs with light hors d'oeuvres, Italian and Asian dishes that are sweet and salty. I enjoyed mine with some Vermont Creamery Chèvre and Beet salad topped with Pepitas.
Vermont Creamery Chèvre $3.99/4oz
Tsoin Tsoin $20.99