A 95 Point Vouvray for under $25

Posted on May, 06. 2011 by

Categories: Wine

Back in September, I sent out a lengthy screed on “The Craftsmanship and Geekery of Loire Chenin Blanc”. The crux of it was that Chenin Blanc is the greatest white grape on the planet, and that one of my very favorite producers of Loire Chenin, Francois Chidaine, was available for presale, with stellar Wine Advocate press and incredible prices for the quality in the bottle. Well, the remainder of the presale wines finally came in last week…and much to my surprise, the best-rated wine of the bunch (and the only actual Vouvray), the 2008 Vouvray Demi Sec Le Bouchet, still has a handful of cases available on top of what we preordered. So, I took a bottle home last weekend, chilled it down, gingerly poured a bit into my glass on Sunday night, and was subsequently awestruck at the vast and magnificent wonders that lay before me. I can’t say I didn’t expect it—Chidaine is a god among men as far as I’m concerned—but my first thought was that my Guild brethren needs to know about this wine, ASAP, before those meddling northern-Virginians get their grubby paws all over it.

This is a cellar white, akin to Grand Cru Alsacian Riesling or Pinot Gris, meant to age for years if not decades (Schildknecht’s drinking window is 2010-2035), and meant to transport you to another plane of existence for at least a short time before the bottle is gone. You can drink it now, and it will rock you with its youthful energy, but if you can bear to wait, that reward will be greatly multiplied.

Here’s what David Schildknecht or Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate had to say:

The most white truffle-scented of the lot of Chidaine wines of its vintage, his 2008 Vouvray Le Bouchet also delivers deep, slightly torrified low-tones as counterpoint to the vintage-typical sense of citrus. Toasted almond and hazelnut; malt and honey; luscious, rind-tinged lime, pineapple, and tangerine, play on a palate of slickly oily richness, while truffle, musk, and otherwise ineffable forest floor and animal scents play in the background. At only 19 grams residual sugar, if this had the spiny, electric personality of the corresponding Clos Habert Montlouis (or, indeed, that possessed by most of Chidaine’s 2008s) it would probably taste totally dry, and as it is the sense of sweetness here is subtly integrated and hence highly discreet. This amazingly multi-faceted triumph for its vintage – not to mention phenomenal value – will almost certainly be worth cherishing and wondering at for the next 25 years. 95 Points.

I agree with his summation entirely: a triumph, and a phenomenal value. And hey, this is the second time we’ve offered this gorgeous wine—you can’t say I haven’t given you ample warning! (Depending on demand, we may need to allocate, FYI).

2008 Vouvray Demi Sec Le Bouchet
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $23.10 • Premier Cru: $24.15 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $31.50
Buy Now!

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