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Fill out your info and we will notify you when the 2018 Vouvray Champalou is back in stock or when a new vintage becomes available.


The Champalou Game

by Anthony Lynch

2018 Vouvray

Champalou   France   |   Loire   |  Vouvray

$23.00

In addition to being extremely talented vignerons, the Champalous (Catherine, Didier, and their daughter, Céline) are quite skilled in the culinary arts. Ever the warm and generous hosts, they take pleasure in toiling away in the kitchen to create brilliant and often unexpected pairings for their wines. With Vouvrays of all styles available in their cellar—still and sparkling; dry, off-dry, and fully sweet; oak-aged and tank-aged; vintages young and old of every cuvée—the options are truly endless.
       Upon placing a dish on the table, Didier likes to play a game. He’ll pour a glass of a mystery bottle brought up from the family cellar and then let the guests determine its vintage and bottling. On one particularly memorable visit, he served up a most luxurious creation: oysters topped with foie gras, baked for several minutes until the whole reached a rich, tender, decadent apex. What wine could possibly accompany this sublime combination of briny and unctuous? One with a fresh spine of acidity and a texture voluptuous enough to stand up to foie gras—their 2009 Vouvray sec.
        Next, Catherine emerged from the kitchen carrying a Moroccan-style chicken tagine with olives, currants, and preserved lemons—not exactly local Loire Valley fare, but delicious nonetheless, and perfect with a refreshing, ever-so-slightly sweet 2008 Vouvray Les Fondraux, hinting at honey and candied citrus.
        Finally, to accompany a simple slab of aged comté, Didier poured a radiant golden liquid reminiscent of melted stone and black truffle. It prickled the palate with a gentle effervescence—surely this must be an aged pétillant? Didier flashed a devious smile as he brandished the crusty old bottle and announced triumphantly, “1986!”
        Today we feature the most recent release of the family's flagship bottling of dry Vouvray, a graceful and refreshing expression of Chenin Blanc with ample flesh in the style of 2015 or that memorable 2009. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more versatile wine at table—the possibilities are infinite, so follow Didier's lead and have some fun with it! 


$23.00

More from this Producer or Region

About Loire

map of Loire

The defining feature of the Loire Valley, not surprisingly, is the Loire River. As the longest river in France, spanning more than 600 miles, this river connects seemingly disparate wine regions. Why else would Sancerre, with its Kimmeridgian limestone terroir be connected to Muscadet, an appellation that is 250 miles away?

Secondary in relevance to the historical, climatic, environmental, and cultural importance of the river are the wines and châteaux of the Jardin de la France. The kings and nobility of France built many hundreds of châteaux in the Loire but wine preceded the arrival of the noblesse and has since out-lived them as well.

Diversity abounds in the Loire. The aforementioned Kimmderidgian limestone of Sancerre is also found in Chablis. Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur boast the presence of tuffeau, a type of limestone unique to the Loire that has a yellowish tinge and a chalky texture. Savennières has schist, while Muscadet has volcanic, granite, and serpentinite based soils. In addition to geologic diversity, many, grape varieties are grown there too: Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne are most prevalent, but (to name a few) Pinot Gris, Grolleau, Pinot Noir, Pineau d’Aunis, and Folle Blanche are also planted. These myriad of viticultural influences leads to the high quality production of every type of wine: red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert.

Like the Rhône and Provence, some of Kermit’s first imports came from the Loire, most notably the wines of Charles Joguet and Château d’Epiré—two producers who are featured in Kermit’s book Adventures on the Wine Route and with whom we still work today.

More from Loire or France

2016 Saumur-Champigny “Terres Chaudes”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur-Champigny

$44.00
$18.00
$45.00

2019 Cheverny

Domaine du Salvard  France  |  Loire  |  Cheverny

$18.00
$29.00

2016 Chinon “Le Clos Guillot”

Bernard Baudry  France  |  Loire  |  Chinon

$42.00

2018 Muscadet “Le Clos de la Butte”

Éric Chevalier  France  |  Loire  |  Muscadet Côtes de Grand Lieu

$20.00

2019 Sancerre

Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy  France  |  Loire  |  Sancerre

$32.00

2019 Chinon Rosé

Bernard Baudry  France  |  Loire  |  Chinon

$24.00

2018 Saumur Champigny “La Marginale”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur-Champigny

$61.00

2012 Saumur-Champigny “La Marginale”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur-Champigny

$55.00

2017 Saumur Blanc “Terres”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur

$90.00

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