Monday, June 18, 2012

Hooray for Vouvray

It's summer, which means yet another post on yet another French white wine. I picked up this 100% chenin blanc for $25 from Bassin's in DC, and it's such a screaming value that I had to post about it.

Quintessential chenin blanc aroms of wax, honey, white flowers, chamomile. Over time some ruby red grapefruit and sugar cane came out. On the palate, this wine is bold and full of chunky fruit. There’s a gorgeous creaminess to this wine the whole way through, and a bit of sweetness (this is technically a "demi-sec" wine, meaning off-dry), but the high acid balances is out. Stark minerality carries through, with lots of limestone. Apricot and nectarine fruit lead the way to a spritz of lemon that carries the finish. Just a hint of sweetness, like a dollop of honey on top of the rest of the wine. This really is an incredible chenin blanc. Chidaine is simply an artist with the chenin blanc grape. So balanced, so pure. This will improve greatly over the next five to ten years. 92 points IJB.

"Le Bouchet" is the name of the vineyard where these grapes are grown, a three-hectare portion of the Clos Baudoin estate in Vouvray. As K&L Wines' explains: "The soil consists of deep clay and limestone over a subsoil of tuffa, the bedrock in the area from which the deep cellars are carved and out of which the villages are built. It is porous and provides water to the vines in even the driest of summers. The average age of the vines is fifty years and they yield only 20 hectoliters per hectare. Harvesting done manually in several passes through the vineyard. Chidaine never chaptalizes wines [adds sugar] that will finish with residual sugar."

If you're looking for a special wine that won't break the bank, and you don't mind a bit of sweetness, pick this up. It won't disappoint.

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