Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Night Bubbles

NV Fabrice Gasnier La Cravantine, $19, Fleet Street Imports. I missed Wine Blogging Wednesday this month, silly me, and the theme was French Cabernet Franc. Many people reviewed wines by Fabrice Gasnier, a producer I am not familiar with. Good ol' David McDuff changed that right quick with an excellent three part profile of the estate and the wines.

I try to alternate each week between Champagne and other wines for Friday Night Bubbles. This ensures that I taste various sparkling wines from all over the place, and also that I don't spend Champagne bucks each week. I was looking for a non-Champagne sparkler last week and stumbled upon Gasnier's La Cravantine - score!

We haven't had a Blanc de Noirs (sparkling wine made with only black grapes, usually Pinot Noir) in quite a while, and this was unabashedly a Blanc de Noirs. All Cabernet Franc from Cravant Les Coteaux, right outside of Chinon. McDuff can fill you in on the particulars of the estate and the wine making, I'll just tell you about how good this wine is. The version David tasted was made from a different vintage, this one is 2005 grapes, I believe. And the ripeness really shows. The nose is very toasty and a bit earthy, with loads of red fruit juice, completely unrestrained. The palate is more balanced than you'd think though, clean and energetic with sappy juicy sweet red fruit and a bitter mineral and floral finish. Nothing terribly complicated, but pure pleasure. And you know what - I don't think there is any sugar in the dosage - the wine is called "Brut Nature," after all. Any sweetness is all fruit, baby!

We enjoyed this as an aperitif and it was great with steak sandwiches and mustard greens, a really good food wine. I'm guessing that I paid more than you will if you see this wine, as I found it in a store that always charges a bit more per bottle than other places. But even at $19, this is a good value in high quality Blanc de Noirs.


Joe said...

Love the Friday night bubbles! Bubbly from Cab Franc? Very cool - you shoulda reviewed this for WBW. Will look for this.

RougeAndBlanc said...

Neil, you better share the name of the store you get the Cravantine with local NYC folks. I tried the web channel (winesearcher) and this wine seems to be available in NJ only.

Anonymous said...

gotta be from moore brothers.

when you buy fabrice's wines you are supporting an incredibley generous and charming person.

if you visit his winery, be forewarned, your girlfriend or wife will swoon. i'm told he is quite handsome. i didn't notice as he is very generous with pours, even at 10:30 in the morning.

Brooklynguy said...

joe - i don't know how i missed it. i usually rely on a few blogs to remind me that it's coming, and no one had a reminder up.

andrew - it's red white and bubbly on 5th aven off union in park slope. not a store i particularly care for, but i was passing by and they had this wine.

hi bill - thanks for the warning, and brooklynlady will have to stay in our hotel room during that visit, if we go back to the loire.