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2004 Yannick Amirault Bourgueil La Coudraye

What a difference a couple of years can make. When I originally bought a bottle of the 2004 La Coudraye by Yannick Amirault, an acclaimed vigneron from the Loire Valley, this natural-yeast fermented cabernet franc was a pretty tightly wound thing. So much so that it was a little difficult to enjoy, as a fair bit of tannin stuck to your teeth and the aromas struggled to break free. Now, as the 2007 has become the current release, the 2004 has opened up nicely, showing up a nice dose of slowly-cooked, sweet red bell peppers, still structured by tannins that have, however, become much smoother as the wine has calmed down a bit. Not terribly complex, but well balanced and worth the price. Went down nicely with some thick, juicy pork chops served with gnocchi and green beans.