I can tell you this is a great summer red. Medium bodied, balanced, it has enough age that it's really integrated and kind of lush. And it's great with a bit of a chill on it.
7/5/11 Update: Alright, I've finally gotten around to tasting this and writing about it. It's 10pm and the weather outside it still sticky and warm; perfect conditions for me to drink this chilled Loire Cabernet Franc. Bourgueil and its neighbor Chinon are (arguably) the best Cabernet Franc producing regions in the world.
Bel Air is currently run by Rodolphe Gautier who took over from his father in the early 2000s. The soil is a mix of clay over limestone and the vines are approaching 35 years of age. The farming is organic and the grapes are hand harvested.
I don't know to what I should chalk this wines tastiness up to, but it really hits the spot! It has a peppery, plummy, cherry kind of aroma to it. A mix of dark lush fruit and earthy woodsey tones. Not straight up wood smoke, but more a burnt out camp fire the next morning with hints of soot and smoke.
On the palate it has bright fruit right up front and that spice, but then more of a lush, slightly fleshy texture on the mid-palate and some tannins that finish it off with a firm hand. This wine is really a joy to drink for me. It's a 2003 at a fantastic price ($14.99). Cabernet Franc seems to really benefit from some time in the bottle to really integrate and smooth out, but too often we only get the young ones. I'm really excited to be able to offer a wine that's actually mature and ready to drink now and is this lively and well put together for such a good price.
This is available at the Freeport Cheese and Wine Shop, Black Cherry, the Rosemont Markets, The Cheese Iron, Treats, Aurora Provisions, RSVP, and the Oh No Cafe.