Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 18, 2017
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Earth, wind and fire

Ethereal yet earthy. You don’t hear those two descriptors tossed together everyday. Yet this combination can certainly come together in heavenly results, and for a well-grounded yet otherworldly match consider pairing root vegetables with Cabernet Franc.

On the surface, there's not much to get excited about when it comes to carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, et al. Sure they’re packed with vitamins and antioxidants, but rare is the romanticizing reserved for root vegetables. However, start roasting and these glorified starch repositories turn into veritable flavour powerhouses.

Similarly, Cabernet Franc is often relegated to backbench status. In Bordeaux, the grape grasps at the edges of the spotlight stolen by Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, and it’s lucky to even be recognized as a supporting actor in New World blends. As a varietal wine Cabernet Franc often gets maligned as being herby, green, or earthy — characteristics that are overshadowed in a world of wine in love with jammy fruit and vanilla-infusing toasted oak. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find Cabernet Franc can make taste buds sing without smothering the senses, and when treated well it’s a grape that can convey a sense of place with utter elegance.

France’s Loire Valley arguably showcases Cabernet Franc at its best, and Domaine Bernard Baudry strives to present the purest expression of the grape. The domaine’s Chinon bottling is 100 percent Cabernet Franc, hand-harvested from 30- to 35-year-old vines that is minimally-processed and undergoes a slow fermentation in cement vats before being aged in older wooden casks for 12 months.

The 2010 vintage shows rugged handsomeness; it’s an engaging combination of fruity and savoury, a powerful and concentrated wine that drinks easily thanks to elegant balance and a lip-smacking natural acidity. And while this Chinon works well with all manner of braised and roasted root veg recipes (such as the Pork Belly and Arrowhead Stew featured on page 40), it’s equally at home poured alongside grilled salmon, or simply a rich and creamy cheese plate.

Where to find it

Domaine Bernard Baudry 2010 Chinon is available across Canada, priced from $19.95 to $26.50

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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