Fabrice's Chinon Signature comes exclusively from a 2-hectare parcel of 75-year-old Cabernet Franc in Les Battereaux, one of Chinon's greatest terroirs, where the limestone bedrock is covered by a layer of clay and sand strewn with chunks of flint and granite. “C'est un terroir exceptionnel pour le Cabernet,” Fabrice says. In the glass, the wine has a dark, saturated black-purple color, nearly opaque in the center, with flashes of bright ruby just at the edge. Aromas of sun-warmed Damson plums, sweet poblano peppers, and crushed black raspberries alternate with suggestions of Kalamata olives, toasted fennel seeds, and peonies, as the nose evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is dense, elegant, and supple, with instant high-toned, earth-edged black fruit flavors that echo the nose, alongside nearly pure blackberry acids and silky, plum skin tannins that give the wine a generous, sweet, velvety finish.
About this wine producer: When we last visited Fabrice Gasnier at his home in Cravant-les-Coteaux, he had long completed the transformation of his 24-hectare estate to biodynamics, the agricultural discipline based on the teachings of Rudolph Steiner, who is best known today as the founder of the Waldorf Schools. “Biodynamics, according to Fabrice, “seeks to strengthen the vitality and resistance of plants, by improving natural exchanges. It also makes the vine receptive in the cosmos, to the lunar effect. Thus, the expression of the terroir in the grapes is optimized and is found in the wines. Biodynamic wines guarantee a good expression of the terroir.” The entire domaine received both “Ecocert” and “Demeter” certification in 2008.