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Domaine des Corbillières, Touraine "Les Demoiselles", 2008

It has been a while since France, the world's greatest red wine country (yes, deal with it!) has drawn me into its sway. This time, it's the unlikely region of the Touraine. Lured by the relative exoticism of that appellation for red wine, by the very original varietal mix of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Malbec, and not least by my love for regional French reds of any ilk, it was more than easy to give in to temptation.

But don't get the idea that some highly strung luxury cuvée caught my eye with a suggestive wink. No, it was a working man's red, as befits the outcome of the recent presidential election.

A nose that offers a whole lot: Red berries, licorice, freshly mixed asphalt (or tar? or bitumen?), red beets, celery roots (that must be the Cabernet Franc!), a certain overall sharpness and spiciness. Very dry on the palate, a very natural feeling, red berries again, but mostly sour cherries as well as cherry stones, with hints of a nice vegetable soup. The acidity is very present, giving the wine length and freshness. While the fruit could be a little more focussed, it is so natural, straightforward and mouthwatering that it is very hard (for me at least) not to like this wine, especially with food. I would be amiss if I didn't mention one more time, finally, this wine's extreme affordability. Vive la République and all that, eh?

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