The Chenin Blanc grape reaches its finest expression in the central Loire Valley appellation of Vouvray. Here, winemakers craft a wide range of styles, from dry to lusciously sweet, depending on the growing site, the weather in a given year, and personal preference.
Alexandre Monmousseau, the latest in five generations of winemakers in the family, is one of the leaders of the sec-tendre, or soft-dry, movement that also includes producers like Huet and Champalou. These wines are dry, but not tooth-rattling dry. Instead, they generally have a slight touch of residual sugar to round them out just a bit.
Today Monmousseau and his family farms 14 hectares (34.6 acres) of land: six hectares for Clos Le Vigneau, the single vineyard that is the source for this bottling. Clos Le Vigneau is located in a part of the valley known as "Les Gues d'Amant" or "Lover's Gap" and most of the vines here were planted in 1929. The soil is a mixture of argilo-calcaire, silex and gravel, which lends the wine the unique minerality that distinguishes Vouvrays of all styles. And like any winemaker worth his salt, Alexandre Monmousseau believes in low yields for concentration and flavor.
The 2007 Gaudrelle Vouvray offers seductive aromas of sweet apple and ripe, tropical fruit flavors. Fresh, smooth and round in the mouth with a touch of citrus fruit, a balanced acidity and a refreshing, tangy finish.
A dry wine with just a touch of sweetness, this Vouvray can go multiple ways. You can serve it with light fare like salads or fresh goat cheese, or take advantage of the hint of sweetness and pair it with a pork or chicken liver pate.