2008 Domaine de Bel Air Chinon Cuvée Gabriel, Loire Valley, France

The Domaine de Bel Air is a Cabernet Franc from France’s Loire Valley.

On the nose, I got some big, dark fruit along with some floral notes.  I also picked up some raisin and spice that put in me mind of a tasty rum raisin cake.  This wine had a very nice nose right out of the bottle.

Unfortunately, the palate on the Domaine de Bel Air was a bit dull compared to the nose; the fruit on this wine was at a minimum.  Although I got the raisin I detected on the nose, I felt it was a bit overpowered by some pretty big spice.  There was also a faint smokiness to this wine.  It had a medium-long finish that left my mouth feeling like I had just licked a piece of chalk.

The Rib and I sipped this one throughout the course of a Saturday afternoon while planning some spring projects around the house.  The wine didn’t change significantly for the better (or worse) as it sat uncorked.  All in all, I enjoyed this wine and might revisit it, if only to try it with food or a mild cigar.  This wine may get a little better with some time in the bottle, but nothing I sensed over several hours of sipping would specifically prompt me to run out for another bottle.  I picked this bottle up for about $17, so no big loss on being merely whelmed with it.  I won’t lose any sleep if I never have the Domaine de Bel Air again, but I’m certainly not sad that I tried it.

From the Corkpit,


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