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Happy crew

Champalou 2002 Vouvray “La Cuvée des Fondraux” (Vouvray) — Very advanced for a 2002, soft lanolin and lotion and fluff. A pillow of a wine. That Kermit Lynch thinks this is the Vouvray he should import is a bigger story than the wine itself, frankly. (4/16)

Formula Foreau 9

Foreau “Cuvée 2004-2005” Vouvray Brut (Loire) – Light, chalky, tentative, and lingering. Delicate yet not as weak as it seems. I quite enjoy this, though I’d be interested to see where it goes with more age. (7/12)

Just a sec

Huet 2007 Vouvray Le Mont Sec (Loire) – The oft-expressed opinion of increasingly ego-overwhelmed critics that great ageable wines taste great in youth is persistently dispelled by wines like this. It’s nice enough, with firm structure, gently chalky minerality, a lot of spine without much flesh, and a strikingly long finish that holds its poise all the way to its denouement. But really, there’s so much more to come that only those intimately familiar with the usual trajectory could even begin to divine the potential here. I doubt I would, encountering this wine blind. So is it a waste to drink this now? I’m starting to wonder if it might not be. At the very least, the demi-sec bottlings offer more early material for appreciation. (3/11)

Pét control

Huet 2002 Vouvray “Pétillant” Brut (Loire) – L02 PSB, for those tracking such things. Sophisticated, with crisp acidity, chalk, aspirin and the faintest prickle…so faint that, were one told that this is not pétillant, but rather just blessed with a little residual CO2, it’d be believed. Like most young Huet mini-bubbles, nowhere near as generous as some of its peers. And like most young Huet mini-bubbles, it would probably outlive and outclass them all. (5/10)

Non-petty thief

Huet 1999 Vouvray Brut (Loire) – Gentle. Light lime and quinine powdered with chalk and spiced aspirin. This is like smelling Loire-dust. Very long, with a fine crescendo. Lovely. (3/05)

Pinon the donkey

Pinon 2006 Vouvray “Cuvée Tradition” (Loire) – Shy to the point of invisibility. Only the barest suggestion of waxy whiteness is perceptible, with a very light patina of sweetness. Either drink it in a sensory deprivation chamber, or give it the time it deserves. (1/09)

Pépe Le Peu

Pichot “Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette” 1997 Vouvray (Loire) – Not bad for thirty-year-old Vouvray. Wait, what’s that? OK…well, it’s advanced, then, with significant bronzing and a concentrated maser of brittle lemon in the middle, nice sweetness, and a fine dusting of chalk. It never really rises to any sort of complexity, but it’s good enough, if a bit ponderous by the dregs. Probable culprit: the cork is rigid, and wet from bottom to top. (1/09)

Mountain fortress

Château du Montfort 2005 Vouvray (Loire) – Chalky powdered sugar, yet not particularly sweet; it’s more a textural lilt than it is a palate-changing element. There’s actually not much else to the wine, though. It’s long-ish, but the sustain is mostly monotonal. It’s pleasant to drink. (8/08)


Foreau “Domaine de Clos Naudin” 2003 Vouvray Moelleux (Loire) – After the Yquem, this seems bracingly acidic…which demonstrates yet again the importance of separating Sauternes and its ilk from more structure-dominated wines. In a proper peer group, things might turn out differently. In any case, the acid does prod and spike and lash, which makes me wonder how it got that way. There’s no lack of sugar, certainly…in fact, it’s an intense, perhaps almost painful sear of sweetness that zips right past cloying and into the realm of liquid Saccharine. Yet it doesn’t seem out of balance, either. What aromatics there are dally in the realms of apple, leaf and lanolin…there’s no discernable chalk…and they’re entirely bound up by the residual sugar. If there’s a flaw – and there is – it’s the oppressive monotone volume of the wine; Philip Glass as interpreted by Scott Ian. In truth, it’s a little dull. But I can’t help but think that it’s a success for the vintage, at least, whether that says anything useful or not, and I must admit that I enjoy it. Will it age? Certainly. Well? I have no idea. (8/07)

Pinon for the fjords

Pinon 2006 Vouvray “Tradition” (Loire) – Melon and chalk. Upfront, pretty, and appealing. Macadamias on the finish. I find it hard to dislike, but I also wish there was more structure. (1/08)

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