Barton & Guestier Vouvray 2007
Barton & Guestier is the oldest and one of the most prestigious wine houses in Bordeaux. The firm was established in 1725 by Thomas Barton, a renowned negociant coming from Ireland. In the early 19th century, his grandson joined forces with Frenchman Daniel Guestier, a reputed importer of Bordeaux wines into Baltimore, in the British colonies in America, and the one who delivered the wines that President Thomas Jefferson had ordered from the Barton family.
The Barton & Guestier winemakers work in partnership with about 200 passionate winegrowers over the greatest French wine regions: Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Rhone Valley, Languedoc, Gascony and Corsica. For almost 300 years, Barton & Guestier offers a wonderful variety of wines that enables wine lovers, from the occasional wine drinker to the connoisseur to make a journey through France.
Sustainability is a fundamental element of global economy. Barton & Guestier is involved in various steps towards sustainability, especially at Château Magnol, which is member of the first organization for the Environmental Management System for Bordeaux Wines. Steps involved considerations about land, energy, water and wastewater quality, carbon and water footprint, waste reduction, safety, and health. The Chateau and all the B&G Bordeaux wines have been certified ISO 14001 in 2013.
An important white wine appellation in the Touraine and one of the top in all of the Loire, Vouvray uniquely specializes in a wide range of styles from dry to sweet, and still to sparkling, each with its own definitive character. Vouvray is almost always 100% Chenin blanc (however up to 5% Menu Pineau is theoretically allowed but not often used).
Vouvray is also the name of a pretty little town just east of Tours on the northern bank of the Loire—its vineyards surround it to the northeast. Houses and cellars are carved out of the local tuffeau, a chalky or sandy, fine-grained limestone. Vineyards inhabit clay and gravel topsoil over tuffeau on the plateau, the best of which have a slight slope with a southerly aspect.
Chenin blanc’s high acidity and natural adaptability allow it to produce a wide range of styles with enormous success. Styles under the Vouvray name include sparkling, both Brut and Demi-Sec and still: Sec (dry) and Tendre (off-dry) as well as Demi-Sec (noticeably sweet), Moelleux (very sweet) and Liquoreaux (botrytized). Most can age about five years but the best quality versions will continue to improve over decades.
Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin Blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Somm Secret—Landing in South Africa in the mid 1800s, today the country has double the acreage of Chenin Blanc planted compared to France. There is also a new wave of dedicated producers committed to restoring old Chenin vines.