2016 Vouvray “Le Portail”Champalou
France | Loire
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Here’s a fun fact: the name of this wine comes from the Occitan language, a hidden linguistic gem of the Languedoc. Causse du Bousquet roughly means “limestone plateau of the little woods.” I think of this red, though, as the “Classe du Bousquet” because the bottle is filled with pure class. A blend of mostly Syrah, with small amounts of Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and Carignan, this wine could go toe to toe quality-wise with most Syrahs of the northern Rhône—and cost you a whole lot less. Since 1988, husband-and-wife team Matthieu and Isabelle Champart have bottled wine under their own label, and for nearly that long they have been highly respected throughout France. Matthieu tends the vines and Isabelle is the blending genius in the cave. Her talent and the high-elevation terroir’s gifts shine through here. Notes of peonies, garrigue, black fruit, and a slightly smoky, savory quality provide a sophisticated red that is a joy to drink now. It will age beautifully over the next fifteen to twenty years.
|Blend:||74% Syrah, 6% Grenache, 4% Cinsault, 6% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignan|
|Winemaker:||Isabelle & Mathieu Champart|
|Vineyard:||Syrah: 15/25 years, Grenache: 25 years, Mourvèdre: 15/25 years, Carignan: 60-110 years, 16 ha total|
|Soil:||Marl, Clay, Limestone|
|Aging:||Aged in barrels and demi-muids for at least 12 months, and then blended and aged in cuve for 8 months|
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