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Domaine Bourillon-Dorleans Vouvray Sec Vieilles Vignes Coulee d'Argent 2008

Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

A dry Chenin Blanc with delicious creamy fruit that exhibits pear, apple and hints of passion fruit. The acidity is wonderfully balanced and provides excellent balancing zip and freshness.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
A bright, high-toned style, with lime and quince notes backed by a honeysuckle thread. The finish is long and lacy. Drink now through 2010.
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Domaine Bourillon-Dorleans

Domaine Bourillon-Dorleans

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Domaine Bourillon-Dorleans, Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
2008 Vouvray Sec Vieilles Vignes Coulee d'Argent
Fredric Bourillon is young and energetic. Not content to be a great wine maker, he is also a great promoter, always successfully banding together young Vouvray growers for participation in Tasting and trade fairs throughout Europe.

The Bourillon family has been making wine at Rochecorbon for many generations. Documents show the estate was founded in 1875, but it was in the 1930's that Frederic's great grandfather, Gaston, started to organize the estate as it is today. Recently Frederic has been energetically consolidating the vineyard holdings still further.

Most of them are on the plateau above Rochecorbon, near the Lanterne, a beacon tower that gave warning of river born invaders in the middle ages.

A new vinification plant has just been built, outside the medieval underground cellars. Brand new stainless steel vats permit fermentation in ideal conditions. Ageing in the tortuous old cellars at a constant temperature allows the oldest wines to show their full potential, even after 50 years or more. A recently tasted 1921 was still young with wonderful flavours of honey and flowers, mature Chenin Blanc at perfection.

Above all the Bourillon Dorleans wines display the passion that Frederic devotes to their product. A moelleux will only be produced when conditions are perfect. The 1985 was very fine and both 1989 and 1990 quite exceptional. These are surely wines of world class status, among the best the Loire can produce; wines for future generations, lasting 75 years and more.

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.

Chenin Blanc

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Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines, Chenin Blanc doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Unquestionably at its best in its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc can do it all—from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still or sparkling. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Chenin Blanc is planted in California, namely in the Clarksburg AVA but also very widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen.”

In the Glass

Chenin Blanc ranges from austere to richly sweet, with aromas of McIntosh apple, honey, beeswax, jasmine, hay, and quince. When grown in warmer regions, Chenin Blanc develops richer, tropical-fruit flavors, such as pineapple and melon, as well as ripe stone fruit. Often these wines carry some residual sugar.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the structure, austerity, and chalky acidity to work with antipasti or unadorned seafood, such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food.

Sommelier Secret

There are several appellations throughout the Loire Valley devoted to producing different styles of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray, Saumur, Anjou, and Savennieres are known for excellent dry and off-dry wines; Vouvray, along with Montlouis, Bonnezeaux, and Quarts de Chaume, produces glorious late-picked sweet wines whose high sugar levels are offset by Chenin Blanc’s hallmark acidity. Sparkling Crèmant de Loire, Saumur, and Vouvray provide delightfully affordable and flavorful alternatives to Champagne.

SKREBU040_2008 Item# 103041