A Flying Visit to Vincent Carême, 2019

There are benchmark domaines all along the Loire Valley, addresses I never shy away from, knowing with certainty that should I call in there will always be something worthwhile tasting. Vincent Carême, based in Vernou-sur-Brenne but working (mostly) within the Vouvray appellation, is one such domaine. Even at times when La Dame Nature has been less than generous, as she was in Vouvray in the 2012 and 2013 vintages, for example, it was still worthwhile coming here to taste. With vintages such as 2016 and 2018, however, Vincent has been able to channel all his energy, enthusiasm and experience into turning out some of the best wines in the appellation.

Vincent Carême

We started here with two examples of Vincent’s domaine cuvée in the 2018 vintage, a year which has engendered wines with a rich, ripe and broad style, fruit-rich, although not always rich in acidity. The sample from cuve, not yet bottled, seemed to channel very truthfully the overarching style of the vintage. Vincent undertakes the bottling of this cuvée in two stages though, so I was also able to taste the first bottling which, although the same blend, felt a little more minerally and defined. I have a feeling that at this level (domaine-level blends rather than single-vineyard cuvées) the 2018 vintage will be one in which the dry whites will be best drunk young, but it will be interesting to see how they evolve.

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