November 15, 2012

Vouvray Tasting, Vol. 2

I recently participated in a second online Vouvray tasting (vol. 1 here) with a number of wine bloggers that was conducted by Tastelive. The tasting was in conjunction with the Loire Valley Wine trade organization. The thing that has drawn me to Vouvray, and Loire Valley wines in general, is that they often represent very good value for wines that are mostly produced naturally, with bio dynamic and non-interventionist methods. They also have the ability to age for a very long time. One of the oldest Vouvrays I've tasted was the 1990 Prince Poniatowski Vouvray, which was still delicious at nearly 20 years of age.
We had a pretty strong lineup for the second tasting, including the 2011 from Domaine Huet, a ridiculously good wine. Problem is, drinking it now is a bit of a shame as Huet has a reputation for producing some of the longest-lived Chenin Blancs on the planet. Often, the sweeter Vouvrays become sublime wines with 20 and 30 years of age in bottles, with many bottles still awe-inspiring at 65 and 70 years of age. This 2011 has all the making of special Chenin Blanc, there's a lot of sweet, young fruit here, but a core of minerality and earth that will appear more with age.
We also tasted the 2009 Clos Naudin Foureau Demi Sec. The demi-sec notation on the label refers to the level of sweetness from residual sugars in the wine. Demi-sec is "off-dry," a step up from a truly dry wine, which means there is some residual sweetness to the wine. However, there is not nearly the sugar levels of Moelluex, which produces truly sweet, botrytisized wines. Clos Naudin is another of the legendary producers in Vouvray. Again, this 2009 is a wine that probably needs 10 years in bottle to really develop, but it was pretty tasty now, just showing more of its youthful sweetness and glycerin.

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