Francois Chidaine Les Argiles Vouvray 2017
As always, this sublime bottling is drawn from a series of clay-rich Vouvray sites (argiles=clay) that surround the Clos Baudoin. These include l'Espagnole, la Chatterie, l'Homme and la Reugnières, and le Haut Lieu (the same site of Huet fame). Set away from the river, these sites are mostly populated by 40 year old bush vines, grown on deep, chalky clay over a subsoil of limestone. The fruit is hand harvested with multiple passes through the vineyards and the wine spends 11 months on fine lees. Fermentation occurs with indigenous yeasts and ageing is on lees in wooden barrels (demi-muids) of 600 litre capacity for around six months. It starts with ripe citrus pith and chalk scents followed by a vibrant mouthful of pure, ripe spiced lemon and orchard fruit mingling with piercingly fresh acidity and minerality. More tension and more tightly wound than the Clos de Breuil, it is a terrific Vouvray for when purity and restraint are required. As mentioned already, this wine is 100% Vouvray but is not permitted to be labelled as such because it is fermented and aged across the river in Montlouis. The AOC law (in a section that has historically been ignored) states that if a wine is to be labelled Vouvray, it must be matured within the boundaries of Vouvray itself. For some reason the French authorities have now started cracking down on this and so Chidaine, whose cellars are in nearby Montlouis, is forced to drop the use of the Vouvray AOC from his labels. No matter, the vineyard name and the quality of the wine remains!
In any six $55.19
Each $59.99
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Additional details
Region:
Cellaring:
Enjoy now
Nose:
It has concentrated fruit on the nose, a little dried yellow peach, with a white pepper note.
Palate:
The palate is polished, poised, with a fine acidity and minerality cutting underneath the gentle, textural blanket of peach and citrus fruits. A quite charming style, but also delicate, with a pithy grip wrapped around the finish. This is charming, and shows very good potential
Varietal Composition:
Chenin Blanc