Variety: Chenin Blanc
Country, Region: France, Loire Valley
For this ‘entry level’ moelleux no botrytised fruit is selected only late harvest with some passerillage. In this wine 60g residual sugar with no botrytis and ample acidity giving a seemingly endless finish which finishes very cleanly. Beautiful fine aromatics with ripe pear flavours and hints of spice and saffron. With age notes of truffle and honey and spice evolve beautifully in this beautifully structured wines with exceptional ageing capacity.
‘This cuvée, built on fruit concentrated by passerillage rather than botrytis, always registers a modest (for a moelleux cuvée) residual sugar, coming in at 60 g/l in this vintage. It feels mildly reticent, with some minerally citrus veins to the fore on the nose. This is countered by a charming and supple substance on the palate, filled with polished citrus fruits, white peach and peach stone, with a touch of quince. It feels so very elegant, tense and bright, with fabulous acidity. So long and correct in the finish.’ 95 points, Chris Kissack, The Wine Doctor, June 2019.
'The wines of Philippe Foreau could perhaps be considered the ultimate expression of the Vouvray vineyard. He exhibits great care in tending his vines, has a reasoned approach to his work in the vineyard, and in the cellar there is minimal manipulation and the restrained use of older wood for fermentation ... When he allows a little sugar in the wine, in the demi-sec cuvee in particular, this immediately leads to an electrifying balance of all Vouvray should be, pure, off-dry, fresh and capable of evolving great complexity.' Chris Kissack, The Wine Doctor.
This great Vouvray estate was founded in 1923 (5 years before the Huet family) and is now run by Vincent Foreau who took over from his father Philippe in 2016. Their cellar master Hubert Vacher has been working with the Foreau family since the 1970s and this small and beautiful domaine has remained at just 11.5 hectares in size (less than 1/3 the size of Huet who are their neighbours across the little street). Clos Naudin does not relate to a single "clos"owned by the estate but rather the family have numerous holdings that have remained the same for decades. Three quarters of the family holdings are located above the village on the famed Premier Cote, centred on the Les Perruches vineyard, adjacent to Le Mont.
Work in the vineyards is all done with minimal inputs and vines replaced using massale selection. Hand harvesting and natural-yeast fermentation in mostly aged 300 litre barrels and without malolactic conversion, results in wines of crystalline purity. Younger vines are mostly used for their excellent sparkling Vouvrays.