Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau’s 2012 Vouvray Sec provides the quintessential introduction to Vouvray and the mercurial Chenin Blanc varietal. It offers a beautiful lemon-tinged color and a heady bouquet that offers the taster seductive scents of acacia flower, green apple and quince. Although this Vouvray’s striking aroma may lead one to believe that it will taste sweet and exit with some residual sugar, Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau’s 2012 Vouvray Sec offers textured apple and quince fruit bolstered by fresh, crisp acidity to finish completely dry. As the wine warms slightly in the glass, it reveals a pronounced minerality, born of limestone and flint infused soils from which the finest wines of Vouvray flow. Enjoy the 2012 Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau Sec moderately chilled (40°-45°F) now and over the next 3-5 years.
Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau’s 2012 Vouvray Sec begs to accompany fish, shellfish and a diversity of dishes from near and far. Sushi, grilled trout or sea bass, and spicy Thai dishes top our list of preferred pairings with this wine. Chicken fajitas and spicy Southwestern cuisine get our nod, too. Pâtés, charcuterie, prosciutto and hors d’oeuvres make tasty pairings as well. Strong cheeses provide other winning accompaniments to the Vigneau brothers’ artfully crafted Vouvray Sec. Even Roquefort and other blue cheeses shouldn’t overpower the charm of the 2012 Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Sec. Enjoy!
Long considered a noble wine and a favorite of French kings, Vouvray’s motto Je réjouis les coeurs (“I gladden the heart”) is truly taken to heart at Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau, where beautifully tended gardens and 28 acres of pristine vines along gentle slopes facing the meandering Loire River greet the visitor. Located in the heart of the Vouvray appellation, Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau specializes in fashioning exceptional still and sparkling Chenin Blanc, Vouvray’s great claims to fame, from grapes cultivated in biodynamic fashion.
Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau has been in the Vigneau family since 1875 and is presently under the meticulous care of brothers Christophe and Stephane Vigneau. The domaine’s own vineyards are certified organic and Christophe and Stephane have taken sustainable practices even further by subscribing to Rudolph Steiner’s principles of biodynamic farming. However, recent short vintages and severe weather conditions have forced Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau and other top Vouvray producers to supplement their Vouvray Sec selections with high quality grapes from non-certified organic vineyards. Although the quantities in 2012 are small, the quality is exceptional.
Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau cultivates several vineyards including Clos de Rougement whose vines date to the Roman period and, legend has it, were first cultivated by St. Martin of Tours, a 4th century bishop and monk, who is also believed to have grafted the first Chenin Blanc variety from the wild grapes of the nearby Touraine forests.
Vouvray is the most renowned and respected appellation in Touraine, a province long known as the playground of French kings. Touraine lies at the very heart of France and occupies the central section of France’s Loire Valley. This picturesque region along the slow moving Loire River and its tributaries encompasses some of France’s oldest and most respected vineyards as well as the great Renaissance châteaux for which the region is equally famous.
Wines entitled to the Vouvray appellation hail exclusively from a single grape variety – Chenin Blanc. Unlike other French appellations whose wines exemplify their diversity through a myriad of different grape varieties, Vouvray expresses itself and its many attributes with a single grape, which can be made dry (sec), semi-sweet (demi-sec), moelleux (soft and lightly sparkling) or sweet (doux). In fact, about half of the appellation’s entire production is in sparkling wine made with the traditional method used in Champagne. Moreover, Vouvray can be enjoyed young or, in the case of the region’s finest sweet wines, aged for decades, evolving from a crisp bracing wine into a luscious potion.
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