Sauvignon Touraine 2014 Francois Chidaine, Loire, France

Dry, fruity white wine, pale yellow in colour, clear and glossy. Floral nose that progressively develops into a mix of citrus fruit, red apple, white peach and apricot. A lovely palate that balances crisp acidity with generous fruit. Fantastic on its own or alongside grilled fish, crustaceans, avocado and shrimp salad, goat’s cheese. Its freshness will complements these delicate flavours really well.

Located in the heart of Montlouis-sur-Loire, Chidaine is spread across 37 hectares of vineyard, with most being dedicated to the Chenin Blanc grape, but also including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Grolleau, Cabernet Franc, Côt and Pineau d’Aunis. Francois is considered the best producer of Montlouis but he also makes wines under the Touraine and Vouvray appellations. All vines are independently tended with over fifty separate parcels; soils are a variety of clay to flint to clay-limestone.

Francois is one of the great advocates of biodynamic viticulture. From 1992, the vines were already under organic practice, and as of 1999 all became biodynamic. In Francois’ approach, biodynamic viticulture of course excludes any form of synthetic chemicals but more importantly consists in highlighting the intrinsic characteristics of a specific plot and its natural environment by way of the vine using only vegetal, animal and mineral materials. These materials must be applied at very precise times in the solar and lunar cycles – this is the ‘dynamic’ part – these having a crucial impact on the vine’s development.

Soil: mix of clay, flint (silex) and clayey limestone from the Cher Valley in Chissay-en-Touraine and Saint-Julien-de-Chédon. Soils toiled, with melliferous and nematicide plant growth allowed between the vines, manual harvest, direct pressing, fermentation using only indigenous yeasts in stainless steel at low temperature, maturation on the lees until bottling.

Vintage: 2014 was far from an easy vintage as the weather was very unpredictable! However, flowering occurred in excellent conditions and the Indian summer in September was more than beneficial. Thanks to this the grapes gorged themselves with sunlight resulting in a harvest of superb quality. Relief made way for great satisfaction in vinifying grapes with just the right levels of concentration, with wonderful balance, between richness and freshness. In short, a vintage that we’d like to see more often!

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Great wine for the pirce, would definitely recommend.