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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Francois Chidaine Montlouis Clos Habert 2005
Francois Chidaine Montlouis Clos Habert 2005
(search item no. 92363)
The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $21.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Clos Habert's grapes, from 60+ year-old vines, are picked in two to four passes at a potential degree of 14 to 14.5% alcohol, and yield a single-plot demi-sec cuvée. The wine is intensely mineral, rich and long.

"From old vines in a clay-rich site, and as usual highly-selectively harvested and finished demi-sec, Chidaine's 2005 Montlouis Clos Habert smells richly and complexly of apricot and quince preserves, toasted almonds, green tea, and honey. Rich and creamy in texture yet elegant and wafting on the palate, with a strongly chalky undertow, this is much less effusive today than the Les Tuffeaux and its equally exceptional length more overtly mineral and restrained in fruit character despite an advantage in ripeness. It needs 3-5 years to put itself in order (and will evolve over a much longer period), but I guarantee that you will be sorry if you miss it when it does!"
-Wine Advocate

My Notes:

About Francois Chidaine:

Montlouis is an appellation of 400 hectares located directly across the river from Vouvray. (Until it was granted AOC status in 1937, Montlouis wines were under the Vouvray appellation.) The soils in both places are quite similar: sandy clay on a base of tuffeau. Some say that a slightly higher percentage of sand and pebbles in the Montlouis soil makes the wines somewhat leaner than the wines of Vouvray. For us, this trait adds to the charm of Montlouis's sec wines, giving them a lively crispness on the palate and outstanding minerality.

François Chidaine has worked alongside his father Yves for many years, in two independent estates. He works his vines the old-fashioned way, but does not want any mention of organic viticulture on his bottles even though he is certified organic. He champions the Chenin Blanc grape and its ability to produce vibrant wines that age gracefully.

Chidaine's estate is divided into 8 distinct plots, with much of the vineyards between 40 and 80 years old. Clos de Breuil is Chidaine's sec, or dry, cuvée of Montlouis, while Clos Habert and Tuffeaux are demi-sec, or off-dry cuvées. A stunning Méthode Traditionnelle, or pétillant, is made with grapes from younger vines.