I just came home from a wine tasting at my local wine store. The Wine Country in Signal Hill, SoCal. It was a Cabernet Franc event, with a total of 11 wines. The first 7 were French, from the Loire. The last 4 were from California. I had the most amazing experience, finally understanding what folks are talking about when they say *terroir*. The French wines tasted of the earth, and a couple had a distinctive barnyard aroma, which could be intriguing or off-putting. Then, the Cal. wines came up, and OMG, now I know exactly what people are talking about when they say "fruit-forward." So, now I have a definitive understanding of the difference, and can honestly say that I like both, for very different reasons.
What I liked:
2003 Chateau de Fesles, Vielles Vignes, Anjou - it had a rich nose, and was very soft. Delicious with sharp cheese
2005 Charles Joguet, Cuvee Terroir, Chinon - definite barnyard. Once I got past that, it was very nice. Good with food.
2003 Clos Rougeard, Saumur-Champigny - Smelled of sandalwood, tasted of cedar. I loved it. Bought this one.
2005 Stepping Stone, by Cornerstone, Napa - fruit forward, simple compared to the complexity of the French wines. My family will like it with dinner. Bought this one.
2003 Wm. Harrison, Thompkin Cellars , Napa - fruit, again, but deep and lovely. I bought this one also.
So, I bought 1 of the French wines and 2 Cals. My favorite of the three is the Clos Rougeard.