Talk about a region where there are so few quality producers and you have landed in Vouvray. Vouvray is made from the heralded Chenin Blanc grape which when it attains its highs competes with Riesling as the greatest white grape in the world. It is located in the Touraine district in the Central Loire. There is nothing like a great Vouvray. From the nutty flavor profile, to the youthful pure fruit, to the incredible ageablity, no Chenin in the world tastes like a great Vouvray. It can be made in a variety of different styles from Sec (dry) to Moelleux (sweet) and everything in between which is really only demi-sec (off-dry). Oh yeah they also make a little sparkling, of which the top boytlings compete with Champagne. Of course it is a value as it does come from the Loire Valley, which is a wine geeks paradise for great value. The global economic meltdown had no effect on Vouvray and prices are pretty much the same as they were five years ago, inching up only a little.
This is an easy one for me as there are two top top producers and then everybody else. Huet and Domaine de Clos Naudin (Foreau) rule the roost in Vouvray and then there are a small number of good to excellent producers but none as nearly profound as Huet or Foreau. They have the best terroir and the most dedicated winemaking regimen and greatest respect for the terroir which they farm from. I believe Vouvray tastes great at any age but most Vouvray enthusiasts like their wine with a bit of age on it and I can completely see why. A fifteen year old sec can be celestial and the ones with sugar typically need longer to show all their goods. Some of the Moelleux's will last 50-100 years. Impressive! So here is my short list of the top growers in Vouvray. Again the best producers have low yields, natural/sustainable/organic/biodynamic methods, use natural yeasts and hand-harvest (don't want some crappy unripe machine harvested grapes in there).
Notable Recent Vintages: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2002 (perfect vintage!), 2001, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1990, 1989, 1985
Top producers (in no particular order) include:
- Domaine Huet
- Domaine de Clos Naudin (Foreau)
- Francois Pinon
- Domaine de Aubuisieres (Bernard Fouquet)
- Francois Chidaine
- Didier Champalou
- Francois Chidaine
- Vincent Raimbault
- Sebasian Brunet