Domaine Vacheron, 2013 Update

I make no secret of the fact I have a soft spot for Domaine Vacheron; it was one of the domaines – along with Couly-Dutheil and a handful of others – that I visited on my first ever exploration of the Loire, which is now more than twenty years ago. That isn’t to say I would cut the domaine any slack when it came to assessing the quality of the wines though; the reason I still return to the domaine, to taste and assess in each new vintage, is because it is worth coming here. There are quite a few domaines I visited on that first ever trip in 1993 that, disappointed by the wines on that or on subsequent tastings, I have long since given up visiting. Sadly, I have discovered, it is impossible to visit and taste at every domaine, every year.

Domaine Vacheron

The domaine cuvée remains – in good vintages at least – a worthy addition to the cellar, but truly exciting has been the Vacheron family’s introduction of several single-vineyard wines, from a number of lieux-dits in their possession. I first encountered these in the 2010 vintage, and I now report here on the wines of 2011. The notes below come from two tastings; first come some notes made early last year, originating from a tasting with Denis Vacheron in February. Secondly, I include some tasting notes from a visit made during the 2013 harvest, following an invitation to return to the cellars in the evening, once Jean-Dominique and Jean-Laurent had finished with the sorting, pressing and vatting of the fruit picked that day. This tasting was principally led by Jean-Dominique, although Denis and Jean-Laurent were hovering around as well.

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