François Chidaine, 2019 Update
There are few Loire Valley vignerons who genuinely need no introduction, especially in the once-derided appellation of Montlouis-sur-Loire. François Chidaine, however, is indeed one such vigneron. For decades he has helped to drag Montlouis-sur-Loire, the unwanted child of Vouvray, out of the doldrums, seemingly against the odds. Along the way he has been hampered by financial difficulties, frost, a ‘difficult’ business partner and, in perhaps one of the most galling episodes, being ejected from the Vouvray appellation.
And yet he has succeeded, and his wines can be magnificent. He is, I think, one of those Loire Valley names that seems to have broken away from appealing only to Loire Valley wine geeks to have broad appeal to all drinkers, along with the likes of Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau, Alphonse Mellot, Domaine Huet, Nicolas Joly and the like. He is as renowned as any name in Bordeaux and Burgundy, and the sole reason is the meticulous, precise and high quality of his wines. These are wines I eagerly buy and cellar myself.
In this report I take a look at 27 recent (well, mostly recent) releases from this vigneron who comes close to defining an entire appellation.