Back in the 1930s when the French government was creating the Chinon AOC, Château du Petit Thouars' home village, Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne, was supposed to be part of the appellation. It's right on the Chinon/Saumur-Champigny border, plum between the two greatest Loire terroirs for Cabernet Franc.It was more than worthy of the appellation. But Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne's producers thought the Touraine name was the better bet (it was the more famous, then) so they opted out of Chinon.Big mistake.Petit Thouars' children and grandchildren have suffered lower incomes ever since. Then, in 2012, the laws changed again. The Touraine police outlawed 100% Cabernet Franc wines. Don't ask us why. They just did. So the Château went back on hands and knees to ask the Chinon authorities if they would admit them. From 2015, they have been able to call their wines Chinon. That's "new."Laws come and go, but terroir doesn't abide by boundaries or legislation. Saint-Germain's terroir is what it has always been: less sandy than you find in most of Chinon, closer to the clay-limestone mix that creates those seducing Saumurs. But our favorite Chinon often have limestone below their feet as well.Add it all up and you have a terrific, bistro styled Cabernet Franc that is priced nice for everyday consumption
What importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant has to say about this wine...
Made only in exceptional vintages, “L’Amiral” (“The Admiral”) is truly commanding. An homage to the utterly uncompromising, rugged, old-school Chinon of ages past, it is produced exclusively from the press juice of Cabernet Franc from their oldest and finest parcels just outside the wall of the chateau. Aged in used 225-liter barrels for a minimum of two years (some vintages are aged for as long as four years), this long ageing is necessary to tame the more tannic and concentrated juice that is typical of wine coming from the press. Always broad and intensely tannic, the fresh and lively red fruits typical of Chinon do manage to emerge from its smoky and bramble riddled fruit. L’Amiral is a rare find in today’s offerings from the Loire Valley: one that sacrifices early drinkability to reward those with the patience to wait for years, if not decades before opening a bottle. It is a testament to the estate’s commitment to classicism that they produce such a bold, full-throttle wine as this—one which fits beautifully within our portfolio alongside other such beloved outliers as Chateau Pradeaux in Bandol, Domaine Levet in Cote- Rotie, and Paolo Bea in Montefalco.
Earthy , Herbaceous , Minerally