Château du Hureau, 2011 Update

In my Loire 2009 assessment published earlier this year only two Saumur estates were represented, Château de Targé and Philippe Vatan’s Château du Hureau. Although two of Philippe’s cuvées, Les Amandiers and Tuffe, showed very nicely, a welcome appearance by proprietor Philippe Vatan’s top cuvée, Lisagathe, turned out to me a disappointment. Riddled with volatile aromas reminiscent of polystyrene cement it was clearly an off or misbehaving bottle, and I restrained from reporting on it.

Chateau du Hureau

Happily for me Philippe Vatan (pictured above) was reading and thanks to Philippe I have now had the chance to retaste the 2009 Cuvée Lisagathe, as well as taking a first look at a number of Philippe’s other wines, not only his other Saumur-Champigny cuvées from 2009 but also his white Saumur, as well as the recently introduced single-vintage sparkling rosé Rosanna. The latter of these wines I have already commented on in my Loire Fizz report, tasted alongside the likes of Huet, Philippe Foreau and Domaine des Baumard, and so here I give my report on the other cuvées. Kicking off with the white Saumur, this originates from four small plots of Chenin Blanc around Dampierre, tended organically (as is the entire domaine) and hand-harvested in several tries with a yield of about 30 hl/ha. If there is sufficient botrytised fruit there could also be a Coteaux de Saumur.

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