Depending on vintage and terroir, Cabernet Franc shows so many personalities in the Loire Valley that it’s thrilling to check in every year and sample the grape variety across several villages, from Saumur to Chinon. This cuvée comes from Bourgueil on the northern bank of the Loire River, an appellation that can produce serious, age-worthy Cabernet Franc. This bottling, though, is the ultimate bistro or picnic Bourgueil, a red that radiates joy and versatility while offering enough spine to stand up to heartier dishes. The Boucard family, who has been making wine here since 1822, ages Alouettes for eight to twelve months in stainless-steel tanks to preserve as much of the fruit’s bright, fresh character as possible. Evoking blackberries, black cherries, and graphite, this is a wine you’ll want to have on hand all summer.

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