Grapelive Latest: Dec. 6

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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Madeleine

2007 Madeleine “Chapitre III – Retour En Vallee Des Rois” Cabernet Franc, California.Damien Georis, ex-Bordeaux winemaker, is a gifted talent that has found a home in Carmel Valley (Monterey Peninsula, CA) and is hand-crafting some wonderful wines under his own Madeleine label, as well as being the head winemaker for Georis Winery, (no relation)in Carmel Valley. He created a stir a few years back when his premier release hit the local market here, no one had thought a pure and Loire style Cabernet Franc could be this good and it sold out very quickly. Then he turned to Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah in his second release, as he couldn’t source any Franc that could give him what he wanted, but now it is back and his label proclaims (in French) a return of the “Valley of Kings” for his third release (Chapter 3) and it is a royal wine indeed! This vintage is much riper and much more powerful than the last 2 or 3 so this wine is much, much bigger and intense than Damien’s earlier wines. The 2007 Madeleine is more like a Napa or Bordeaux wine than the Loire Valley, (since this vintage is 90 % Napa Valley fruit) with rich and thick fruit and heavy texture, but it still shows the class and balance that are his trademark. This Cabernet Franc shows bold red berry, plum and black cherry fruit on the palate with hints of dried flowers, peppery spices, cassis, mocha and sweet oak notes. This wine is young and full-bodied, almost Port-like, but it does open up and turns elegant and deep. That said, I’d give it a short term in the cellar or enjoy its bold youth with steak or lamb. This is a very impressive effort! ($20 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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www.madeleinewine.com