Francois Chidaine, Les Argiles’ Sec Vin de France 2019

£31.00 (75cl)

Only 6 left in stock


About the wine



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Situated within the Vouvray AOC. Deep clay soils with white chalk, the subsoil is ‘tuffeau’ (soft white chalk). Fermentation with natural yeasts takes place in demi-muids, malolactic fermentation is not sought. Ageing on fine lees in demi-muids. Previously classified under the Vouvray AOC, Chidaine vinifies his wines in Montlouis and the Vouvray AOC regime does not allow Vouvray to be produced/ bottled outside the AOC region. As a result, ‘Les Argiles’ has now been reclassified as ‘Vin de France’.

Tasting note

Dry and mineral white wine offers a clear robe and bright. Purity and elegance characterize this vintage with notes citrus and white fruit. Nice balance in the mouth which ends with a tense and saline finish.

About the producer

François Chidaine is the producer who put Montlouis firmly back on the map of world class Chenin Blanc. An early disciple of Biodynamie (since 1999), he has succeeded in producing some of the most elegant Loire whites with consistently great balance between ripeness, sugar and acidity.

François is one of the Loire region’s, if not all of France’s, most exciting white wine makers. His wines are superb and his winemaking is, quite simply, impeccable. Fine vineyards all managed biodynamically, allied to very low yields and ‘hands off’, sensitive handling are key parts of his chosen practice. François has accomplished for Chenin what Didier Dagueneau achieved (and Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau continues to achieve) with Sauvignon: wines of great texture, vibrancy and complexity. It gives you an idea of Chidaine’s standing in the Loire that Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau, wishing to gain wider winemaking experience, chose François as a mentor.

The Montlouis appellation totals some 400 hectares and is located directly across the river from Vouvray. (Until it was granted AOC status in 1937, Montlouis wines were included as part of the Vouvray appellation.) The soils in both appellations are quite similar: sandy clay on a base of chalky tuffeau. A higher percentage of Silex, with the clay in the Montlouis soil, produces wines that are a touch more linear in style than the wines of Vouvray, lending the wines a rapier-like vitality on the palate, as well as an outstanding minerality.

It was in 1989 that François started working with his father, Yves, on the family vineyards, which then totalled 5ha. Now he has 20ha in Montlouis and 10ha in Vouvray. François also has 7ha in Touraine. He looks for purity and minerality in his wines, having a preference for vintages like 2002, 2004 and 2007 when his Chenin did not become super-ripe: “I prefer difficult vintages that show the Loire’s true personality”. Unlike the majority of the producers in both Vouvray and Montlouis, François concentrates his production on still wines. The wines are aged in demi-muids (600L) barrels, of which 10% are new, as François is not a fan of new oak.

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