Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau’s 2016 Vouvray Sec provides an ideal introduction to Vouvray and the mercurial Chenin Blanc varietal. For starters, it offers a beautiful robe with a golden glint as well as a heady bouquet that offers the taster seductive scents of acacia flower, pineapple, and quince. Although from the aroma one may think that this Vouvray is sweet, Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau’s 2016 Vouvray Sec actually retains little residual sugar. (Sec means dry.) It does, however, offer wonderfully ripe tropical fruit flavors on a bed of minerals and balanced acidity, which play nicely off of the wine’s floral tones and physiological ripeness. In the mouth, delicate hints of papaya, pineapple and quince take up residence with a touch of dried honey and a nice dash of crisp acidity to allow the wine to finish pleasantly dry. And as the wine collects itself in the glass and begins to warm slightly, it reveals a pronounced minerality, born of the limestone and flint infused soils from which the finest wines Vouvrays flow. Enjoy the 2016 Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Sec moderately chilled (40° F) now and over the next 3-5 years.
Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau’s 2016 Vouvray Sec begs to accompany fish, shellfish and a diversity of cuisines from near and far. Sushi, grilled trout or sea bass, and spicy Thai dishes top our list of preferred pairings with this wine. Mildly spicy East Indian dishes work well with this wine, too. Chicken fajitas and spicy Southwestern cuisine get our nod as well. Pâtés, charcuterie, prosciutto and hors d’oeuvres provide more tasty pairings. 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 Vigneau-Chevreau’s 2016 Vouvray Sec. And in case you were wondering, the 2016 Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Sec makes a wonderful aperitif, and with nary a morsel. Enjoy!
Long considered a noble wine and a favorite of French kings, Vouvray’s motto Je réjouis les coeurs (“I gladden the hearts”) is truly taken to heart at Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau, where visitors are greeted by beautifully tended gardens and acres of pristine vines along gentle slopes facing the meandering Loire River. 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.
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 domain’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 production has been small in recent vintages, 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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