Champalou, 2015 Update

After Catherine Champalou took the decision a few years ago not to participate in the annual Salon des Vins de Loire (in which she is certainly not alone – a good number of other domaines have also pulled out in recent years) my meetings with her became a little less frequent. This is one of the appellation’s most significant domaines though, in terms of quality at least, and so simply not tasting the wines just couldn’t be an option for me. Last year I called in on them during the summer instead, and spent a delightful morning principally in the company of Catherine’s daughter Céline Champalou, Catherine and Didier (pictured below) joining us later as we tasted. This year, I managed to meet up with them in February, in order to catch up with news on the 2014 vintage, and to taste recent releases. Catherine’s comments on the vintage I have already included in my Loire 2014 report, so here I will focus purely on the wines I tasted, which were from earlier vintages.


The Wines

The Champalou family’s non-vintage Vouvray Brut is a beautiful example of what can be achieved in the appellation, the palate usually elegant, feminine and floral, features which typify the domaine’s style. This latest release, a non-vintage blend of 2012, 2011 and 2010, delivers this character in spades, being full of pretty, floral fruit yet also underpinned by a vibrant energy. It is a wine I regularly buy these days, and I shall be continuing this very sensible practice for this most recent release.

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