2016 Vouvray “Le Portail”Champalou
France | Loire
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There is a game we like to play among the KLWM staff: which producers in the portfolio, who now fly under the radar, will reach superstar status within a few years’ time?
Looking back, there was once an era when Jean-François Coche’s Meursault-Perrières sold for $14.95 a bottle, or when cases of Clape’s Cornas lined our retail store floor. Even just a few years ago, one could walk into the shop and choose from a wide selection of cuvées from Arnaud Ente, a vigneron whose rise to stardom has been stratospheric. So, who will be the next Coche-Dury, Clape, or Ente?
Without hesitation, we all agree: David and Arnaud Lavantureux are top of that list. These young Chablisien prodigies have taken an already stellar family domaine and lifted it to the next level. They have added new wines, including premier and grand cru sites, to their lineup, and introduced fresh ideas to vineyard and cellar work—all with passion, drive, and crucially, pinpoint precision in their execution.
Their most humble cuvée, Petit Chablis, remains the domaine’s benchmark for value and typicity. With a delectable combination of fresh fruit and oyster-shell aromatics, a texture on the palate that is both suave and linear, and a finish as mouthwatering as one demands from cool-climate Chardonnay from limestone soils, this Petit remains one of the grandest bargains we import.
Rendez-vous in a few years to check in on the Lavantureux brothers’ wines—if they are finally perceived for their true value, stocking up will be nowhere near as easy as it is today.
|Producer:||Domaine Roland Lavantureux|
|Winemaker:||Arnaud and David Lavantureux|
|Vineyard:||28 years average, 4.5 ha|
|Soil:||Clay, Limestone (Portlandian)|
|Aging:||Fermented and aged in stainless steel|
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch
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