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MWG November 22nd tasting (2/5): Three dry Vouvrays

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Vouvray 2011, Les Argiles, Domaine François Chidaine ($25.55, 11461056)
100% biodynamically farmed Chenin Blanc from 40-year-old vines in several parcels. Manually harvested in several passes. Pneumatically pressed, fermented with native yeasts and matured in old wood demi-muids. No malolactic fermentation. 12.5% ABV.
A kaleidoscope of aromas and flavours: chalk, quince, melon, white and yellow stone fruit, citrus, linden, ginger and more. Thrilling balance between rich fruit and vibrant acidity. Long finish with crystalline minerals and a quinine-like bitter note. Wow! (Buy again? Definitely, for drinking now or cellaring up to a decade.)

Vouvray 2010, Clos Naudin, Philippe Foreau ($30.75, 11797220)
100% Chenin Blanc. Manually harvested in several  passes. Pneumatically pressed with the stalks. Fermented with native yeasts. No chaptalization, acidification or malolactic fermentation. Matured in old barrels. Bottled with minimal sulphur. 13.5% ABV.
Reticent nose: “green almonds,” green pear, chalky minerals. Lacking coherence on first sip. Very dry with coursing acidity, pale white fruit and a streak of bitter minerals. Gained depth and appeal as it breathed and warmed, hinting at its potential. (Buy again? Only to stick in the cellar and forget about for a few years.)

Vouvray 2010, Domaine Vincent Carême ($23.45, 11633612)
100% organically farmed Chenin Blanc from vines 45 years old on average. Manually harvested. Fermented – full alcoholic, partial malolactic – and matured in old barrels. 14% ABV.
Ripe pear, flower sap, browning apple but the flavours turn cheesy in the glass and the wine falls flat. Different from – and far less attractive than – other bottles of this I’ve tasted and probably defective. The cork on our bottle was wet all the way to the top; since the wine showed well enough when carafed, I poured it; in retrospect, I should have exchanged it. (Buy again? Yes but maybe from another store.)

Written by carswell

November 30, 2012 at 19:08

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