Réserve des Vignerons Saumur Rouge, 2005

For a simple, straightforward wine that will please almost anybody you bring to dinner, try this 2005 Réserve des Vignerons Saumur Rouge, from the Cave des Vignerons in the Saumur region in the Loire Valley. It is made entirely with Cabernet Franc, the principle red grape of the Loire, although some Pinot Noir is grown here too.

The Cave des Vignerons was established in 1957 by a group of winemakers who wanted to band together to share knowledge and meet future challenges. Placed atop the Saint Cyr en Bourg hill at the center of a sprawling plot of vineyards, the site features two vertical shafts dug out of the local limestone, allowing the winemakers to take advantage of gravity flow in the winemaking process between the receiving area and the vats, located 25 meters below ground level.

Light to medium-bodied, the wine itself is red violet in the glass, showing strong dark berries on the nose; I found it highly aromatic. In the mouth, supple tannins back a fruity core of blueberries and cherries, with hints of iron mineral, green olive, and pepper. Strident acidity completes the package, with a medium finish. Pairs well with roast meats. $7.


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