François Chidaine, 2011 Update

One of the most convincing wines I have tasted from François Chidaine has to be the 2008 Clos Habert, a wine which I had the good sense to stock up on last year when I visited La Cave Insolite, the shop that François and his wife Manuela run on the riverside in Montlouis-sur-Loire. It was a vintage that favoured the demi-sec wines of Vouvray and apparently Montlouis-sur-Loire too, as I recently reiterated in my latest report on Domaine Huet in which a lone representative of 2008 sneaked in amongst the other wines, which were predominantly from the 2009 and 2010 vintages.

Tasting it again this year only confirmed my opinion of this wine; of course there were a few other wines also up for tasting and I diligently worked my way through the entire portfolio in several vintages, I think to the amusement of François and his team who are perhaps more used to people dipping in and tasting one or two wines that take their fancy. Such as the 2008 Clos Habert, I suppose. No such easy-going approach for me though, and we kicked off with a selection of wines from 2007 and 2008, both vintages now well settled in bottle, before moving into more recent times with 2009 and the embryos that represent the 2010 vintage.

François Chidaine

Although for the more recent years I tasted within the vintage, that is tasting everything from 2009 before progressing to 2010, for the slightly older wines I tasted according to style, starting with the drier cuvées such as Les Bournais and Les Choisilles, regardless of vintage, before working my way up to the more sugar-rich Le Bouchet, Les Tuffeaux and Clos Habert. I have decided to leave my notes here in this order, as I thought it may be a useful way to illustrate the spectrum of styles made by François (pictured above).

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