It's that time again folks: Wine Wednesday! Today I have a reasonably priced red wine from one of my favorite regions: Loire, France. Even more specifically this Gamay and Cab Franc blend is coming from the most important Loire region, Touraine.
Map courtesy of
As you can see the Loire is a pretty large region, stretching from Nantes on the far west of the region to Centre in the east. As wide as the region is the wines are just as diverse ranging in style from dry red and whites to sparkling wines with a diversity of varieties to match. I don't want to way you down with information of the Loire in general, so let's focus on Touraine.
Touraine is also home to a diverse group of varietals from whites made from Chenin Blanc, Arbois, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay; as well as red wines made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Meunier, Pineau d'Aunis and Grolleau. Soils in the region can vary from clay, sand, tuffeau and gravel as it snakes along both sides of the Cher River.
Domaine des Echardieres is a 39 acre vineyard on the left bank of the Cher river planted with Gamay, Cab Franc, Côt (Malbec), Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The vineyard and winery practices Terra Vitis, which is a sustainable approach to viticultural and vinification techniques. Domaine des Echardieres is committed to there sustainable approach from farming to wine making to packaging used.
The 2009 'Le Bécassou' is a cuvée made from 60% Gamay and 40% Cabernet Franc and retails for $11.99. It is a lovely, affordable wine ready to drink for weeknight dinners. It has aromas of cherry, raspberry, rose petals, limestone, cedar and cigar box. The palate has bright acidity and silky tannins with flavors of cherry, cocoa powder, clove and roasted bell pepper. It is a versatile wine for food pairings, but I would most recommend spring/summer vegetable dishes, Bass, Salmon or Lamb dishes of the lighter fare. I paired this with a Salmon, Tomato, Corn and Basil dish (recipe to follow this week), which was a nice compliment to the bright, juicy fruit of the wine.