Château de Villeneuve, 2009 Update

More than fifteen years elapsed between my first taste of the wine of Château de Villeneuve, a Saumur-Champigny from the early 1990s, and the addition of my Villeneuve profile to this site. Happily this long interlude is one that won’t be repeated; only a month or so on from that addition I met Jean-Pierre Chevalier and his wife during the 2009 Salon des Vins de Loire to look at the latest releases from the 2008, 2007 and 2006 vintages.

Château de Villeneuve

This mini-tasting provided a useful snapshot of the three vintages in Saumur-Champigny, although comparisons between them must be made with extreme caution due to the different nature of the wines on show. In the case of 2006 these are finished wines, in bottle, and the quality was deemed sufficient by Jean-Pierre to make all three cuvées, his entry-level Saumur-Champigny, the Vieilles Vignes cuvée and Le Grand Clos. In 2007, however, there was only one wine, the domaine Saumur-Champigny, as Jean-Pierre did not think the quality of the wines merited the superior labels; thus the 2007 Saumur-Champigny includes fruit normally destined for Le Grand Clos, and so it is hardly the same wine as the 2006.

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