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Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups Vin de France Bretonniere 2015

Chenin Blanc from France
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

The Clos Bretonniere combines remarkable density and richness with vivacity deriving from the wine’s minerality and focused acidity. It can be enjoyed young for the accessible fruit – especially if decanted – or aged for many years which will bring out the nuances of a great Chenin Blanc.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Delicious, with ebullient yellow apple, green almond and mirabelle plum notes, carried by vibrant acidity. The long finish is inlaid with verbena and quince accents.
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Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups

Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups

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Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups, France
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A new star has emerged in the heart of the Loire Valley: he is Jacky Blot of Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, in Montlouis and Vouvray. Montlouis is located on the southern bank of the Loire, opposite Vouvray. Blot, originally a Loire wine broker by profession, acquired about 8 hectares of 50-75 year old vines in 1989. These prized, ancient parcels belonged to families that could no longer continue to cultivate the vines and so entrusted them to Blot and his team. Blot brought a passion and exacting determination to make wines of only the highest quality, well beyond the norm of the day. Now more than 25 years on, Blot is the acknowledged pioneer of the region and is credited with having taken Chenin Blanc to unprecedented heights of quality.

Nearly synonymous with fine wine and all things epicurean, France has a culture of wine production and consumption that is deeply rooted in tradition. Many of the world’s most beloved grape varieties originated here, as did the concept of “terroir”—soil type, elevation, slope angle and mesoclimate combine to produce resulting wines that convey a sense of place. Accordingly, most French wine is labeled by geographical location, rather than grape variety. So a general understaning of which grapes correspond to which regions can be helpful in navigating all of the types of French wine. Some of the greatest wine regions in the world are here, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, and Champagne, but each part of the country has its own specialties and strengths.

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, are the king and queen of Burgundy, producing elegant red and white wines with great acidity, the finest examples of which can age for decades. The same varieties, along with Pinot Meunier, are used in Champagne. Of comparable renown is Bordeaux, focused on bold, structured red wines made of blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc including sometimes a small amount of Petit Verdot or Malbec. The primary white varieties of Bordeaux are Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. The Rhône Valley is responsible for monovarietal Syrah in the north, while the south specializes in Grenache blends; Rhône's main white variety is Viognier.

Most of these grape varieties are planted throughout the country and beyond, extending their influence into other parts of Europe and New World appellations.

Chenin Blanc

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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. While most would agree it reigns supreme when from its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin is the most planted variety in South Africa. California’s Clarksburg appellation is also winning more notoriety for its Chenin.

In the Glass

Chenin's drier versions commonly have characteristics of passion fruit, lemon, quince, green apple, saffron and chamomile while sweeter version express aromas and flavors such as yellow pear, white peach, persimmon, melon, ginger and honeysuckle. When aged in oak, qualities like meringue and brioche can be found. Sparkling versions often have yellow apple, ginger and floral notes.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin blanc has the chalky acidity to work with light seafood such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food. The sparkling versions such as Saumur Mousseux, Vouvray Petillant and Crémant de Loire make amazing aperitif options that won’t bruise the pocketbook.

Sommelier Secret

South Africa actually has double the amount of Chenin blanc planted compared to France. It is believed that either the Dutch navigator, Jan van Riebeeck, brought the grape to Cape Town in 1655 or the Huguenots fleeing France brought it in 1685. Either way, the South Africans have favored it for many centuries and make it in almost every style. Today a new wave of dedicated producers has committed to restoring old Chenin vines and finding the most ideal new spots for this prized variety.

SRKFJC009_2015 Item# 233981