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François Chidaine, Vouvray

"There is I think no place on earth outside of the Loire where you can enjoy this kind of mind-boggling wine value."
Report on François Chidaine - David Schildknecht,

"If you admire purity in chenin blanc, this is the address to remember..."
- Vinous, on François Chidaine

Chidaine has been one of Rudolf Steiner’s pioneers on the Loire, having turned “green” in 1997. A very quiet, subtle gentlemann, he became better known to a wider public in 2002 when he took over the erstwhile estate of Prince Poniatowski in Vouvray. That was part and parcel of a gradual expansion from humble beginnings that has seen the estate grow to its current 30 hectares, about two-thirds of which are still now in Montlouis. As his yields are generally quite low, he seldom produces more than 150,000 bottles a year, often relatively evenly split between bubbles, dry, off-dry and noble late-harvest chenin blancs.

Harvesting everything by hand, he does the majority of his selections on sorting tables in the vineyard so as not to contaminate the juice. He then ferments in 600-liter casks, only 10% of which are new in any given year, using only wild yeasts. The often contentious question about malolactic fermentations is not an issue for him. “Sometimes they happen. Sometimes they do not.” We tasted the wines below in flights from sparkling to sweet, trying in particular to assess the style of the individual vineyards. He likes to drink most of his wines either very young, when they are still on their primary fruit, or after seven or eight years of age. If you admire purity in chenin blanc, this is the address to remember.
  — Vinous

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