Daniel Olivier Cabernet Franc Merlot 2014
Racy but in control, citrus fruits, green pepper and a fruitful finish. Elegant, delicate grassiness on the nose from the Sauvignon Blanc with a broader feel on the palate from the addition of a small amount of Semillon, finishing lifted and fresh with citrus qualities. A diversity of flavour that many pure Sauvignon at this level lack
Montravel is an appellation covering red and white wines from an area in the west of the Bergerac wine region, in southwestern France. In the valley of the Dordogne River, the vineyards cover a substantial acreage across the region's low, rolling hills. Terroir in the area is not dissimilar to that of the right bank of Bordeaux, although there are some climatic and geological differences. The soil here is alluvial, deposited over time by the Dordogne River, and is marked by its high content of limestone. It generally takes the form of clay or silt in the vineyards, storing water during the rainy springs to hydrate vines throughout the summer.
This is a blend of 80% Sauvignon and 20% Semillon very much a traditional blend in this part of France. The Semillon adds a certain weight underlying the more aromatic, juicy, grassy character of the Sauvignon. It has to be said that a lot of pure Sauvignon wines can be rather one dimensional and Daniel certainly believes the Semillon plays a vital role in making this wine far more pleasurable. Cool, minimal handling in both the vineyard and the winery helps to retain the fresh, zesty character of the grapes, cool fermentations, judicious skin contact and early bottling means all the crisp, edgy zest of the wine is preserved. As the wine ages over the next eighteen months, it will broaden out as the Semillon makes its mark and takes over from the more forward Sauvignon.
Part of the process for preserving the quality of the wines is based on gravity ie grapes go in at the top and wine comes out at the bottom, so he does not have to pump wine around as he does not like to over-handle his wines (poor handling can lead to bruised flavours). The vineyards are neat, and he is using a lot of the old rootstock which contribute intensity and vinosity. Daniel is determined to make Montravel a great wine producing area, as it once was in the 18th Century
Great for pairing with spring and summer food ingredients such as asparagus, courgette flowers and young greens matched with fish and lightly cooked white meats
(A great, very informative site but only in French)