Keep Coming Back to Cabernet Franc

by Dustin Soiseth

Cabernet Franc is my favorite grape. Before I worked at Kermit Lynch—even before I jumped into the wine business full-time—I would come to the shop to buy Loire Valley reds. Where else can you purchase the absolute best a region and domaine have to offer for about fifty bucks? Not many places. They were a steal back then, and they still are today. I sang Cab Franc’s praises in last month’s newsletterwhich features a great Cabernet Franc samplerbut I would like to share a more personal story about one particular wine here on the blog.

It was probably in 2008 that I bought a bottle of 2005 Charles Joguet Chinon “Clos de la Dioterie” from the Kermit Lynch retail shop in Berkeley. It is the domaine’s most majestic wine from their oldest vines, and it ages forever. I ignored the bottle as best as I could, but ended up uncorking it about a year later. It was a special occasion for Kate and me. We were hosting our first dinner party as a married couple and I wanted something special to drink. The wine was great, though I can’t help but feel that some of the subtleties went unappreciated both due to the wine’s youth, and the fact that dinner was about an hour and a half late and everyone was starving. Still, it was a special wine for a special night. I began working at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant in 2013, and shortly thereafter we received a few magnums of that same 2005 Joguet Dioterie. I vividly remembered the wine from that dinner party, and eagerly bought more.

Every so often, the KLWM retail staff get together for dinner, and of course we bring our own wine. It’s a great time for us to unwind, share our favorite bottles, and take a break from yelling at one another and fighting over allocations. The most recent dinner took place at Camino in Oakland. I brought that same magnum of 2005 Dioterie I purchased a few years back, and paired it with an entrée of grilled pork loin and sausage with farro, grilled pan di zucchero, almonds, and preserved lime. On this occasion the wine was in its prime: raspberries steeped in black tea, plums, graphite… A more mature Cabernet note appeared on the finish after being open for a few hoursroasted tomatoes. And fine tannins. Some tannins are aggressive, assaulting the palate; these were refined tannins, aikido tannins that used the fattiness of the pork loin and smokiness of the sausage to their benefit. There were many great bottles that night, including old Tempier and Trévallon, but that Dioterie was the star for me.

I still have a few ‘05s from Joguet in my cellar, including a Dioterie, and that makes me happy. I have enjoyed the wine in its adolescence and young adulthood, and now I’m going to wait to enjoy the last few bottles in their (and my) maturity. It’s been a years-long journey with one wine, and it’s not over yet.


You can find the 2014 “Clos de la Dioterie” here.

Leave a Reply