Château Gaudrelle, 2018 Update
Situated down on the riverside in Rochecorbon, Alexandre Monmousseau fashions an increasingly interesting portfolio of wines which demand our attention. He has had a presence in the appellation for many years, originally at Château Gaudrelle up on the plateau above the town of Vouvray, a domaine with a long history of viticulture, and before that silkworm farming. When the Monmousseau family sold the property in 2009 he was forced to relocate, but he kept the name, but happily his wines never missed a beat. Indeed, today they are as good, better even, as they have ever been. Given that he is converting many of his vineyards to organic viticulture, is experimenting with vignes tressées (training the top growth of the vines, rather than topping off), and plays music to his wines as they ferment (skeptics beware, Alexandre is ready with the published research on its benefits), perhaps we should not be surprised that this is a domaine which seems to be on an ever-upwards trajectory.
In this most recent encounter with Alexandre and his wines, I concentrated on 2017 and 2016, but as usual we kicked off with some sparkling wines, representing recent and slightly more mature vintages. The 2016 Tintamarre, a sparkling pétillant naturel cuvée, shows a charming and easily accessible style, filled with sweet orchard fruit character. To Alexandre’s surprise it was refused the agrément for the Vouvray appellation, and on tasting it I cannot understand why. Neither can Alexandre, it seems. “I am making this wine using the exact methods my grandfather once used”, he lamented. While a good wine, I must admit I preferred the two traditional cuvées, the 2015 Brut Millésime and the 2011 Vouvray L’Extra Brut, the latter a cuvée I have not tasted before, despite it now having more than a little bottle age.Please log in to continue reading: