Vincent Carême, 2023 Update

The eighth instalment in this informal series of Vouvray updates, tasting reports and profiles brings this to one of the modern-day stars of the appellation, none other than Vincent Carême.

I first met Vincent (pictured below) close to fifteen years ago, at a time when the Vouvray appellation was arguably more of a sleeping beauty than a handsome prince. There were a quartet of widely lauded domaines, a handful of others which many commentators on the appellation (myself included) were occasionally guilty of overlooking, and then a larger number of domaines which could fairly be accused of resting on their laurels. It was to a large extent Vincent’s presence in the appellation, along with a handful of his peers (many of whom, both older and younger, he mentored) that began to lift the spell from this belle au bois dormant.

Vincent Carême

Over the years I have seen Vincent’s wines shift in style. Having started out as a source of attractive examples of the appellation, over time he seemed to pack more of the region’s character into his wines, especially the two (more recently, three) cuvées parcellaires. Today his wines are perfumed, textured, minerally and occasionally lightly reductive, exemplars of what can be achieved with Chenin Blanc, wines which can sit comfortably not just on the Vouvray stage, but on the global Chenin Blanc stage. Given the meteoric rise in the quality of wines made with this variety in South Africa in recent years, that is a significant achievement.

For this reason I am delighted to present this report on Vincent’s most recent releases, built around three tastings I undertook during the course of the past year, firstly with Vincent in Angers in March 2022, and then on to subsequent visits to the domaine in Vernou-sur-Brenne, in May and November 2022.

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