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Francois Chidaine Les Argiles Vouvray 2015

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Importer Note:

Limited. Thanks to France’s labyrinthine and often unreasonable bureaucracy, Chidaine’s 2014 Vouvray cuvées cannot be labelled under the appellation in which they were grown. This is because, technically, Vouvray must be made and matured within the boundaries of Vouvray and Chidaine’s cellars are in Montlouis. Historically the authorities have turned a blind eye to this technicality but now that Chidaine’s has his new cellar in Montlouis up and running, the authorities decided to crack down. Coincidence? Who knows. All they have succeeded in doing is to marginalise one of the region’s finest producers and to have some of region’s best wine sold without the word “Vouvray” on the label. Still, it’s 100% Vouvray within the bottle so we will continue to sell it as such, and encourage our customers to do the same. 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 600L wooden barrels (demi-muids) for around six months. A stunning wine. I can’t remember a Les Argiles with this level of detail and clarity. The texture is pure silk and while there is plenty of depth, it just seems to float weightlessly across the palate. Like the 2014 Clos Baudoin below, Chidaine could hardly have fashioned a finer ‘non-Vouvray’ if he tried.

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Importer Note:

“Chidaine is one of the world's finest craftsmen in the medium of white wine, not to mention a continuing source of amazing value.”  David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate

“Tasting [Chidaine's] wines in 2013, I was once again confronted with a remarkable array of cuvées with perfectly poised structures and such elegantly presented seams of fruit... I was suddenly reminded of the wines of the late Didier Dagueneau. The common themes were purity and precision, the wines having the same vibrancy and definition.” Chris Kissack,

François Chidaine is one of my favorite winemakers in the world. There are times when I can imagine drinking only his wines for the rest of my life.” Peter Liem,

Additional Information

Volume (ml)750ml
Winemaking PracticesMinimal Intervention
Vineyard PracticesOrganic/Biodynamic
Product typeWine White Chenin Blanc
RegionLoire Valley

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