2016 Vouvray “Le Portail”Champalou
France | Loire
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Monks first planted Cabernet Franc vines on this well-exposed chalky slope in the eleventh century, making Clos du Chêne Vert one of Chinon’s oldest parcels. Charles Joguet acquired the land by auction and was left with the laborious task of clearing and replanting the overgrown, untended hillside. In 1988 Kermit wrote, “Le Chêne Vert, once the vines are of sufficient age, will produce Joguet’s finest wine.” Today, the vines are more than thirty-five years old, and that statement has proven true. The wine has appropriate magnitude for such a storied vineyard, expressing this legendary site with intensity and refinement. Raised eighteen months in used barrels, this is a thick, profound Chinon that will evolve much like a great Bordeaux growth. While you can definitely appreciate the 2014 now—ideally, after patiently decanting it and serving with a rare cut of steak—several years in the cellar will bring out its full potential.
|Vineyard:||Vines 30 years old|
|Soil:||Siliceous chalk & clay|
|Aging:||Prolonged aging in 1-3 year-old barrels for 18 months|
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Inspiring Thirst, page 171
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