Thursday, April 30, 2009

2007 Vintage From Francois Chidaine (Written For The Wine Country's Spring Newsletter)

Anyone that has been shopping at The Wine Country for any time is aware of our nearly fanatic adoration for the wines from the Loire Valley, these are the wines we drink the most often, the wines we find pair the best with the foods we eat and the wines that inspire our customers to utter phrases like, “I have never tasted anything like that before!” one winemaker in particular has converted more non wine drinkers to aficionados, red wine drinkers to white wine worshipers and pulled more domestic wine drinkers into the French department, that winemaker is, Francois Chidaine.

I remember standing in Francois freezing cold cellar, tasting wines that were as close to perfection as I had ever had and looking over at this wide eyed, horribly shy, soft spoken, humble man thinking, “He, he made these?” I could not get over how gentle he was, how softly he moved and how he seemed to be trying to read our faces, like he was wondering if we approved of his offerings. I just remember thinking, “He has no idea, no idea how unbelievably perfect these wines are” and each year when the new releases are presented to me I look at the prices and think, “He still has no idea”.

Hands-down the most undervalued wines we have in the store, these are some of the most concentrated, precise, focused wines I have ever tasted and all of them are under $30.00 a bottle?!

Francois is masterful in his ability to coax Chenin Blanc into revealing its truly noble expression of place and vintage. His Montlouis and Vouvray offerings are wildly diverse and with each vintage we are stunned by his ability to let each wine show what the weather, the vines and the soils gave him. Once considered the “man to watch” in Montlouis his wines now sell out immediately upon release and grace the lists of the finest restaurants the world over.

2006 was a warmer vintage and the wines displayed a richness and slight to high level of sweetness but the 2007s are much drier, more mineral driven but still retain that rich, full texture and sexy, lush mouth feel. If you have yet to taste the wines from Francois Chidaine this is the perfect vintage to start with, they are some of the best I have ever had from the estate and I don’t think you can call yourself a wine lover and not experience these wines.

2007 Francois Chidaine Vouvray Clos Baudoin $26.99
Quite floral with green pear, herbs and tart tangerine rind flavors. Extremely supple on the palate with a smack of cold wet stones in the middle and a crisp bone dry finish.

2007 Francois Chidaine Vouvray Les Argiles $23.99
Stony and nutty with orange blossom, minerals and a green herby note. Quite dry with a lovely mouth feel and long but fruit driven finish.

2007 Francois Chidaine Vouvray Le Bouchet $23.99
Super ripe pears, warm baking spices and peaches. Long, ripe, powerful almost chewy in the mouth with a stunning crisp, dry finish

2007 Francois Chidaine Montlouis Les Tuffeaux $24.99
Ripe mango aromatics with just a kiss of herbs and white flowers. Ripe pears on the palate with just a touch of that signature baking spice flavor in the plushy mouth feel. The finish is remarkably balanced, just enough acidity to leave your palate tingly but still tasting this stunning wine.

2007 Francois Chidaine Montlouis Clos Habert $26.99
Thick and luscious looking in the glass, this wine is all about texture! Warm peaches in a buttery crust, almost oily in the mouth, sexy, full and concentrated but the brilliant acidity keeps the wine perfectly balanced.


Erin said...

Great post! I'll have to see if these wines are available here by the Bay. :)

Samantha Dugan said...

They should be very easy to find in the Bay area! The importer is Beaune Imports and they are in Berkeley, if you go to my blogroll there is a link to their site which can tell you who in the area carries their wines. You could also just give them a I think at least some of the Chidaine wines are on the list at Slanted Door. Happy hunting, the wines are remarkable.

David McDuff said...

What, no Choisilles? Just teasing us with that photo, were you? And no Bournais? No bubbly?

Seriously, I'm a big Chidaine fan too. The wines do still represent good values but oh do I miss the time -- not so long ago, mind you -- when almost all of them were priced in the mid-teens.

Samantha Dugan said...

Hey David,
What are ya, breakin' my bawls? :) I wrote this article for our newsletter so I featured only the new releases, the Choisilles is always released later, so that is still on the 2006, which I will have you know is drinking fantastic right now. Cannot wait for the 2007 to get here though, bet it is really something.

I am also in love with the bubbly, and it seems to be getting better every batch, that guy is truly a master with Chenin.