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2020 Chinon “Les Petites Roches” Blanc

Charles Joguet
Discount Eligible $34.00
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Chenin Blanc represents less than 5% of vineyard plantings in Chinon and for most of its history Domaine Joguet has focused predominantly on the Touraine’s great red grape, Cabernet Franc. Tasting this brand-new cuvée, however, you might think vigneron Kevin Fontainte has been producing Chenin for decades. Bone dry and perfectly chiseled, this zesty Petites Roches blanc will serve you well alongside a wide range of seafood from raw oysters to seared scallops to grilled sea bass. 

Tom Wolf


Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Chenin Blanc
Appellation: Chinon
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: Charles Joguet
Vineyard: Planted in 1994 to 1999, 3 ha
Soil: Limestone, Clay
Aging: Aged in 50% stainless steel, 50% demi-muids for 4 months
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 13%

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About The Region

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.

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Inspiring Thirst

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