Champalou, 2011 Update

A tasting of the latest vintage with Catherine Champalou – and these days her daughter Céline is just as likely to be present – never takes too long. Although Catherine and her husband Didier have been settled at their domaine on the road heading north out of Vouvray since 1983, and have long been producing wines regarded by many as some of the best in the appellation, the Champalou portfolio has – unlike that from Huet or Chidaine, for instance – always remained very focused. In a typical vintage there are just a handful of wines, dry and sweet.


I have already made some comments on the 2010 vintage for Touraine, both in my report on the Loire 2010 vintage, and in my domaine-specific updates already published, such as those for Domaine Huet and François Chidaine. As I discussed in the former, the “cooler than average” soundbite statistic is quite false, as the temperatures were generally above or at least close to the average, the average being based on a thirty-year dataset which includes many atypically warm years. Nevertheless Catherine recounts a run of cooler temperatures during the spring, and rather tellingly the progress of the 2010 growing season is described as merely “OK“. She describes her wines in this vintage as “agreeable, classic, pretty, with good minerality, but not for long keeping“.

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