La Grange Tiphaine, 2020 Update
If there is one domaine working in the Montlouis-sur-Loire appellation I have not paid enough attention to over the past couple of decades it is La Grange Tiphaine. As regular readers may already know my first encounter with the wines of the domaine was far from successful. Many years ago (by which I mean some point between fifteen and twenty years, if memory serves me correctly) a well-meaning merchant based in the UK sent me one of the domaine’s reds, which have the Touraine appellation, as a sample. I think he was eager to introduce me to the work of Damien Delecheneau (pictured below), and quite right too.
But, in a predictable twist of fate (happily less common these days than it used to be), the wine was corked. The Wine Gods had determined that I should remain in the dark.
During the years that followed I had fleeting encounters with Damien’s wines, at one or two Loire-focused tastings. And one realisation slowly dawned on me; the wines of this domaine, I came to see, were excellent. Not just in white, this side of the portfolio divided between Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, with the Touraine and Montlouis-sur-Loire appellations respectively, but also in red. These latter wines, featuring Cabernet Franc but more importantly Côt, a variety perhaps more typical of the Touraine vineyards east of Montlouis-sur-Loire, are frequently superb, dark and brooding on one hand, floral and perfumed on the other. They are no afterthoughts; this is a domaine which enjoys success in red and white, a rare accomplishment in a region where Chenin Blanc rules.