2015 Pithon-Paillé, Anjou Rouge “Mozaik” Cabernet Franc, Loire Valley, France.
This wonderfully priced 100% pure Cabernet Franc, with a faint whiff of brett (Brettanomyces), red berries and dark flowers, comes from the deep cellars cut from limestone of Pithon-Paillé, in the Anjou zone of the Loire and is made from all organic grapes from two distinct sites with one on schist and the other on classic limestone soils. The combinational the of these plots add to the complexity of this pretty wine, the ripe flavors and violet floral notes are expressed from that limestone in a warm vintage, while the schist gives a driving mineral soul and fresh intensity along with the Cabernet Franc’s natural earth and pyrazine notes. Pithon-Paillé is avery natural producer with ultra low sulfur and grow their grapes organic, which means, as they note, that they farm without the use of any synthetic chemicals—no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides or pesticides, as well as using only natural composts, infusions and remedies are used to treat the vines, in fact it is closer to biodynamic in practice with the lunar calendar playing a key role in the vineyards and in the cellar.
With the Cuvee Mozaik, Pithon-Paillé is looking to create a wine of pleasure and vitality and especially in a vintage like 2015, things played out to almost perfection, making for a lovely Cabernet Franc with a dense and dark fruit core, but one that is lively and elegant. The vines average almost 30 years on this wine and the Mozaik saw all native yeast fermentation with an almost three week maceration before finishing primary in stainless tanks, then the wine goes to neutral oak for malos and it ages a year in cask. Instead of fining or filtration Pithon-Paillé then rests the finished wine for an extra 6 months in tank, with everything done to preserve the essence of the vintage and the terroir. Medium bodied and only 12% natural alcohol, the Pithon-Paillé Mozaik Anjou Rouge shows layers of mulberry, briar laced raspberry, cherry, and earthy/savory dried herbs, flowers, tobacco, anise, crushed rock/loam and lingering tart currant with just a hint of green pepper, leather and cedar. This is pretty serious stuff for the price and it should age a good long time, it’s a favorite of mine most years, especially this vintage, enjoy.
($26 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive