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Francois Chidaine Les Argiles Vouvray 2017

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Availability: In stock

$83.00

$70.55

Currently 8 bottles in stock

Free freight on any order over $500

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 eleven months (in total). 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 (when in the past it was typically ignored) 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, the region (even though no longer listed on the label) and the quality of the wine remains! - Importer Note


“This has a simply charming nose, very open in style, tangerine fruit marked with minerally veins. The palate shows a little hint of an incisive character at the start, before it relaxes to reveal a broad seam of pithy tangerine, apple and peach fruit. An undeniably ripe style, with tight central seams of chalky mineral and acidity. A very fine result, rich in perfumed fruit, fresh, but true to the vintage.” 93-95 points, Chris Kissack, thewinedoctor.com

Contact Chris to order more

+61 (0)409819436

or email info@veno.com.au

Details

Let’s cut to the chase. This is Chenin Blanc at its zenith, tasting nothing like the stereotype of the grape variety, but rather acting as a conduit through which the vineyards can express themselves. These are wines brimming with energy, texture and great intensity of flavour; the kind of wines that unequivocally transport you to the patch of dirt from where they were grown. As a collective, the wines below offer a remarkably pure and vivid expression of their respective terroirs.

François Chidaine is one of the France’s most exciting white wine makers. It’s not hype – the wines are terrific and the winemaking approach is impeccable. Great vineyards managed biodynamically, ultra low yields and ‘hands off’ élevage are the order of the day here. As we have written before, Chidaine has achieved for Chenin what Didier Dagueneau achieved (and Benjamin Dagueneau has continued to achieve) with Sauvignon: wines of staggering texture and complexity. It gives you an idea of Chidaine’s standing in the Loire that when Benjamin Dagueneau wanted to gain experience as a younger man, he went to work with Chidaine.

Chidaine has caused a mini revolution in Montlouis - in many ways the contemporary history of Montlouis is the history of this young vigneron - with a swag of winemakers now following in his steps. Such is the dynamism of this movement, that on a recent visit to Domaine Huet (Vouvray), Noel Pinguet joked that he wished he could swap appellations! One of the remarkable aspects of Chidaine is that despite his success, his prices remain remarkably fair. As the Schildnecht quote above suggests, these are some of the finest value great wines (not to mention authentic wines of terroir) on the market.

In terms of the regions, Montlouis is Vouvray’s little brother, sitting directly across the Loire river in France’s North. The analogy of siblings is a good one as the rivalry between these two regions is intense. However, as Montlouis is much smaller in size, 400 hectares as opposed to 1800 for Vouvray, and as most of the wine is consumed in France, Montlouis is less well known. Chidaine is the widely acknowledged master of Montlouis and now with his prime land in Vouvray – including the legendary Clos Baudoin vineyard which he purchased five years ago from the Poniatowski family. Farming biodynamically and cropping at well under three tonnes to the acre. - Importer Note

Additional Information

Volume (ml)750ml
Winemaking PracticesMinimal Intervention
Vineyard PracticesOrganic/Biodynamic
Product typeWine White Chenin Blanc
Vintage2017
CountryFrance
RegionLoire Valley
Sub-RegionVouvray

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