Within the middle Loire Valley, along the Loire River, about 2 hours outside of Paris, Samur, Chinon, and Bourgueil produce some of the loveliest Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc wines in the world. The cooler maritime climate of the region, influenced by the River and Atlantic breezes blowing in from the Ocean gives an inherent freshness to the wines, enhancing the floral and fruity character of the varieties. Clay and limestone soils add crushed stone minerality, and moderate use of oak ensures the essence of the variety shines. Though often considered just a blending variety, Cabernet Franc has been a Loire Valley star for generations.
Domaine Olivier is a 58-hectare family estate in Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil. Patrick and Agnès Olivier, second-generation winegrowers, work together to produce premium-quality wines representative of the appellation. In 2006 the winery obtained Terra Vitis certification to guarantee the sustainability of the estate. Domaine Olivier Cuvee du Mont des Oliviers ($20) is 100% Cabernet Franc wine layers crushed violets, wild strawberry, raspberry, and black cherry, with a touch of cigar box and toasted spice on the finish.