François Chidaine may well be the Loire Valley’s brightest star. On the flint hillsides a stone’s throw from the elegant Château de la Bourdaisière, Chidaine crafts luscious Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc under the Montlouis and Touraine appellations.
His calling card is without a doubt the laser-intense, single-vineyard bottlings from his Montlouis vineyards. If you stroll to any Parisian bistro in the 11th arrondissement or to the finest restaurants throughout NYC, you’ll find his wines gracing many a wine list. Sommeliers aren’t Chidaine’s only fans; The Wine Advocate has called him “one of the world’s finest craftsmen of white wine” and “a continuing source of amazing value.”
François Chidaine has been perfecting his protocol in the vines and cellars of the Loire Valley since he was a young boy. He worked alongside his father Yves on four hectares of rented Montlouis vineyards, until Yves retired in 1989. The enterprising son now manages 30 hectares of vines, some as old as 80 years old.
The Clos de la Grange is one of François Chidaine’s finest achievements. It’s a blend of Sauvignon Blanc vineyards that surround the historic city of Tours — aptly named Touraine. The soils are mostly clay mixed with flint and clay grown on a bedrock of tuffeau limestone.
The Loire Valley’s 2015 growing season was “easily the best since 2010,” according to Wine Spectator. Master of Wine Jancis Robinson praised the “excellent quality” of Touraine’s harvest. Nobody was better positioned to capitalize than François Chidaine, so familiar with the limestone-clay soils of Touraine and, with his team, harvesting each year’s entire crop by hand.
The 2015 bottling boasts a complex bouquet of lime, gooseberry, kumquat, and a flint smoke undertone. On the palate the wine is both rich and precise, with flavors of citrus and pear, and finishes with an energetic minerality. Drink now-2020.
Poured by the glass at Daniel Boulud’s Épicerie and featured on the lists on some of the finest restaurants in the city. You can pay the premium there or buy today for $15 on WineAccess. The choice is yours. STRICT limit of one case per member.
This wine was everything we hoped it would be. The review was accurate and the wine is stellar.
Love these Touraines. They are so close to the Sanceres. This one is only slightly sweet, with great lasting flavor. Bigger than most Touraine.
Four stars for given the inexpensive price.
Great wine for a hot day. Had strong citrus undertones, but they were not over powering. Also had a hint of smoke. Very unique wine.
Strong pear element to this wine, but would have preferred more crispness like I see in other fine Sauvignon Blancs from The Loire!
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