le tasting room

Loire wine tours, tastings, day trips from Paris & short breaks organised by experienced English wine trade professionals.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Vouvray 2 June 2011

We drove over to Vouvray this week to pick up some wine from Bernard Fouquet. His Cuvée Silex is one of the most popular wines we show during our regular wine tastings.

Bernard Fouquet in his cellar in Vouvray

Interesting to talk to Bernard about the climatic conditions this year. He likens them to 1976 but also says there is way too much talk about the vintage at this early stage. Obviously the fact that there has been no rain has had and will continue to have an effect upon the harvest in so far as yields will be much lower than normal and grapes are likely to be very sweet but he was at pains to stress the importance of what happens in the month or two just before harvest and indeed the weather conditions during harvest. Apparently in 1976, after that scorching summer that I can remember very well (being about 13 at the time) there was rain just before harvest.

We popped up onto the coteaux for a look at his vineyards - this is the plot that produces his Les Giradières - another cuvee that has a slightly higher level of residual sugar. Only three producers have vines on this hillside - himself, Philippe Foreau and Huet.

Bernard keep the weeds at bay using a burner that is gas generated. He was telling us that it's very efficient but not very eco friendly using so much fuel and he's hoping that the organic weed control sprays that have already been developed for use in the garden will be available soon on a bigger scale making them a more environmentally friendly option.

In the cellar we retasted the 2010 vintage of Cuvée Silex that we love. It has lovely pure fruit and an elegance that was not quite so present in the 2009. Lovely citrus, pear notes and a touch of grapefruit on the finish. He then poured us a little of the same wine from 2002. If there was ever a lesson for holding on to your Vouvray (if you can bear it) this was it. It was tasting just incredible - rich and powerful with a magnificent tropical fruit and mango quality and yet holding on to that beautiful fresh acidity that Chenin offers. Cuvée Silex costs around 8 Euros a bottle cellar door - if this is what happens to it as it ages, then I really recommend you buy some and put some away.

Bernard likens the 2010 vintage to the 2002 in terms of weight, wine style and ageing properties. I can honestly say, it was quite the most delicious wine I've tasted in ages.