The Couly Dutheil Chinon vineyards during harvest

If you bought some of this last year - here is a chance to re-stock. If you have not had this wine do not miss it.

Wine Spectator Recognizes a Couly Dutheil's release of a Chinon Special Cuvee and Rates it 92
"Rock solid, with ripe, structured layers of plum, black currant and black cherry offset by sweet olive tapenade, mineral and aged tobacco. The long, iron- filled finish shows impressive depth. Should age nicely. Drink now through 2010. The Wine Spectator Sept. 30, 2007

News The Wine Spectator on Oct 31st named this wine as the Best Value in France and at the top of the "Outstanding Wines Values from around the World . Wow!

I've been to the birthplace of this wine many times. it is one of the most beautiful villages in France and that enhances the pleasure I get from the wine tenfold. I cannot taste a Chinon without a vivid picture of the village popping into my mind. For a quarter of a mile in each direction along the River are charming stone houses built right into the hillside. The land rises steeply from the bank and on its highest part with a lot of vineyards in between sits a chateau, noble though in ruins.

All up and down the river are France's signature plane trees, stumpy and squat from rigorous pruning in the winter and bursting with shade-giving leaves in the summer. I think about crossing the small bridge over the River Vienne. The bridge splits Chinon in half and puts you right down in the middle of town. There is an open-air market once a week.

You can sip your noir double in the morning and watch the trafficking of ripe peaches and aromatic melons and cheeses and feel a few million miles away from anything flashy and artificial and second- rate.

Loire wines. Have you started to love them yet? You know, the longer I drink wine, the more reds from the Loire end up in my glass. These wines have a purity about them that I love. There are no sharp edges. They are not heavy yet they are substantial and bursting with berry flavor, to say nothing about their affordability.

The Couly-Dutheil (Coolie-dew-toy) family makes my favorite Chinon. They make several different red Chinon: Clos de l'Echo and Diligence to name two from two different Chinon vineyards and they also make a special wine to honor their mother: Madeleine Dutheil. Although I have drained many cases of Clos de l'Echo and Diligence, I am importing for the first time cuvee Baronnie Madeleine.

It is a special wine and made in a special way. It is only made for the best vintages and 2005 qualifies in every way . The family conducts a blind tasting to identify a parcel of a vineyard or a blend of parcels that will be named Chinon Baronnie Madeleine . The family looks for a style which represents the "feminine ideal" e.g. richness and elegance - round, charming with complex tannins that will have good ageing potential.

The grapes always come from the best plots where the vines are the oldest. The vineyard work at the Domaine is based upon biodynamic principles. There is a manual harvest and strict grape selection. Yields are well below the average for the region. The juice is aged in barrel. All of this yields a silky and seductive wine.

I like to uncork a bottle of Chinon and wet my glass before dinner. I often take it upstairs to my office and sip and write and finish up my work for the day. I can do this because I work at home and the only heavy machinery I need to operate is my HP All in One. One sip of that Chinon stirs up great memories of those little stone houses with their prim lace curtains and brightly painted shutters. It's such a pretty place and It's such a pretty wine! Let yourself be tempted. Cynthia Hurley


Couly-Dutheil La Baronnie Madeleine 2005

Complex & intense aromas with a seductively silky palate of ripe fruit. more
On Sale $18.99
Buy Couly-Dutheil La Baronnie Madeleine