Didier Champalou often likes to surprise guests by serving aged vintages of his sparkling Vouvray from the family cellar. Golden and honeyed, the wine maintains a lively freshness and exudes breathtaking aromatic complexity. Should you choose to indulge today, you can expect a racy, bone-dry, mineral sparkler with a fine bead and deep, focused structure. This is yet another compelling testament to the Chenin Blanc grape’s versatility and the Champalou family’s mastery of Chenin in all styles—you simply can’t go wrong.
Catherine and Didier Champalou both came from vigneron families, yet their mutual sense of independence prompted the couple to brave it on their own. Since starting the domaine in 1983, their label has become one of the most highly-acclaimed in the appellation. Vouvray is home to the noble Chenin Blanc, more commonly known as Pineau de la Loire in their part of the world. The Champalou family farms 21 hectares of vineyards, embracing sustainable farming while integrating the use of the lunar calendar. Their soils are rich, deep, and aerated though regular plowing. The Champalou house style produces wines of great elegance and tenderness, highly aromatic with impeccable balance. No one comes close to copying their distinct style.
For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.