Is it possible to squeeze honey from a stone? That is hard to imagine, yet the image is precisely what this young Vouvray from Catherine Breton brings to mind. The honeyed aspect is typical of Chenin Blanc, and when coupled with the stony element derived from the chalky soils found in this part of the Loire Valley, it yields this live wire of a wine with succulent fruit and a completely bone-dry, mouthwatering finale. Upon opening the bottle, you may find the wine needs to breathe in order to show its best, so don’t hesitate to decant it to encourage the full spectrum of Vouvray aromas to make their appearance. A truly versatile white, La Dilettante has the bright acidity to pair with sushi or delicate fish dishes, yet it contains the textured weight on the palate to accompany richer foods like poultry or mushrooms. For a real treat, age it for five years and enjoy it with a slice of seared foie gras.
|Producer:||Catherine & Pierre Breton|
|Winemaker:||Catherine & Pierre Breton|
|Vineyard:||40 years, 5 ha|
|Aging:||There is no maloactic fermentation and the wine is bottled in the spring following harvest|
Catherine and Pierre Breton are real life bon vivants vignerons of lore. They are passionate about what they do, enjoy sharing it with others, and entertain with a generosity and charm. That they make great wine with such integrity makes our appreciation of them complete. The Bretons farm 11 hectares just east of Bourgueil in the village of Restigné. They produce Chinon, Bourgueil, and a bit of Vouvray, creating honest wines for both early consumption and aging. The Bretons received organic certification in 1991 and recently began the three-year process of seeking biodynamic certification. They’ve become international icons for the natural wine movement in an area where the climate and soil can make organic viticulture difficult.
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