From sandy soils and fermented and aged in cement until bottling, the 2017 Chinon offers a beautifully elegant, aromatic, spicy bouquet of dark fruits. Fresh and elegant on the silky-textured palate, this is a very delicate and refreshing Cabernet Franc with lingering floral flavours of violets. Very nice freshness. Excellent.
The most recent vintage of the domain I tasted was the 2017, which was very good. The harvest was very early and went from September 18 to 25. Due to spring frost, the yields were relatively low, at 35 hectoliters per hectare for Cabernet Franc.
Drink 2021 - 2023
Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (August 2021)
Balanced, integrated and seamless. Earthy nose full of cherry, plum, black pepper and olive. Cool and juicy on the palate. Super drinkable – and good value.
The father-and-son team of Philippe and Pierre Alliet have raised the bar for what’s possible with Loire Cabernet Franc and are now running one of the top domaines in Chinon. Pierre now mostly runs the estate's day-to-day, with 18 hectares of Cabernet Franc and a single hectare of Chenin Blanc. One thing he’s introduced is using more cement tanks and less oak. The south-facing limestone slope of L’Huisserie and the steep site called Côteau de Noire are two of the top single vineyards in all of Chinon.
Drink 2020 - 2027
Jason Wilson, Vinous.com (July 2020)
About this WINE
Domaine Philippe Alliet
Domaine Philippe Alliet is one to reference for making 100% Cabernet Franc wines. The Domaine is situated in Cravant-les-Côteaux, home to arguably some of the best Cabernet Franc in the world. Founded in 1985, the Domaine is now run by Philippe's son, Pierre, who is revolutionising the Cabernet Franc scene in the Loire, focusing on low yields and meticulous vineyard management.
The oak regime has gone down from 100% new 225l barrels to a mere 20% new wood 500l barrels paired with much longer ageing of up to 20 months. This has drastically changed the style of the range and allows the wines to be approachable young whilst having great potential to age.
The Domaine produces one of the most exciting Chinon ranges in the Loire, spanning from their entry-level Chinon to their top-of-the-range Coteau de Noiré cuvee, located on steep coteaux and perceived as THE best plot in Chinon. Pierre emphasises the importance of sustainable and environmentally friendly viticulture practices, so he organically farms the 19 hectares of the Domaine.
Chinon is an important appellation for the Cabernet Franc grape, located within the Touraine wine region just to the west of Tours. At approximately 2,500 hectares, it represents a slightly larger zone than its neighbour Bourgueil. Part of the appellation, closest to its other voisin St Nicolas de Bourgueil, possesses light, sandy gravel soils to give an easy drinking style, while the remainder is blessed with a tuffeau subsoil from which the wines draw a finer structure and longevity. Neither style approaches the fullness of Bourgueil however.
Cabernet Franc is widely planted in Bordeaux and is the most important black grape grown in the Loire. In the Médoc it may constitute up to 15% of a typical vineyard - it is always blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is used to add bouquet and complexity to the wines. It is more widely used in St.Emilion where it adapts well to the cooler and moister clay soils - Cheval Blanc is the most famous Cabernet Franc wine in the world, with the final blend consisting of up to 65% of the grape.
Cabernet Franc thrives in the Loire where the cooler growing conditions serve to accentuate the grape's herbaceous, grassy, lead pencil aromas. The best wines come from the tuffeaux limestone slopes of Chinon and Bourgeil where growers such as Jacky Blot produce intense well-structured wines that possess excellent cellaring potential.