Champalou, Vouvray, Le Portail 2018
Straight out of the Loire Valley and the historical home of Chenin Blanc comes this wonderfully delightful treat of a wine. Fermented to dryness, which is slightly atypical for the region, this wine shows immense character earned from masterful winemaking practices, a long fermentation in big (500L) ol’ oak barrels, extended gros lees ageing for a period of 18 months (twice the minimum for Champagne) and carefully selected fruit from some of the most well suited sites for Chenin Blanc on the planet. What you get out of the bottle would go for two or three times as much in, its stylistically similar, Burgundy.
A true gem and a killer value, this wine is extremely versatile and can please even the pickiest of palates when paired with nothing but good company. Or, it goes beautifully with shellfish and can even stand up to a little spice if you dig that kind of thing. Do yourself a favour and, if you’ve got the means, decant it for about an hour before you serve. Observe it opening up like flavour floodgates.
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