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François Chidaine 'Le Chenin d’Ailleurs' 2018

“The Pope of Montlouis and Vouvray—just a sublimely great producer. He knows his vineyards better than anyone and he styles his cuvees according to the contours of each vineyard. He lets the vintage dictate the wine, meaning he has no formula, but determines each year the length of fermentations and durations of ageing. It’s a classic and very honest way of making old-school wine. The wines are pure and clean, yet profoundly expressive. And they are still phenomenal value.” Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay, The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste

2018 François Chidaine Vin de France Le Chenin d’Ailleurs A lip-smacking, crystalline Chenin from the southern soils of the Limoux region (more famous for its sparkling wines), made in the spirit of Montlouis. Chenin d'Ailleurs means ‘Chenin from another place’. If you haven’t heard how the story started, in 2016 Chidaine lost most of his Loire Valley fruit to frost. His friends and seasoned winegrowers, the Fort family, offered up part of their harvest to François to make his own wine. In the hands of a Chenin master, this fruit continues to produce a white worth every one of those many kilometres regularly driven by François Chidaine up and down the long L’Occitane highway.

This a juicer and more playful style than this grower’s northern Chenin, yet it remains classically minimalist, detailed and pure. It has ripe citrus, golden delicious and creamed honey notes, a flowing and nicely textured palate, and a twist of earthy complexity to the juicy finish.