Domaine Vincent Careme Vouvray Le Clos 2017
Seductive aromatics entice with hints of apricot and truffles that lead to a decadent, well structured, full palate. Seamless notes of honeysuckle and cream linger on a lengthy, satisfying finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This dry wine comes from organically grown grapes in a single old-vine parcel. With enormous potential, the wine is superbly ripe, showing white fruits as well as minerality, a taut texture and acidity that will soften. Drink from 2021.
Born in Vouvray, Vincent Carême farms 42 acres with his wife, Tania, who hails from South Africa. They gained organic certification for their domaine in 2010, making this wine from a parcel of 50-to-70-year-old vines growing in tuffeau. Fermented in 400-liter oak barrels (15 percent new) by the yeasts on the grapes and resident in his cold cellar carved out of the same white rock, it ages in those barrels on the lees for a year. It’s powerful, mouthwatering Vouvray, heady and complex, with a floral perfume and a potent minerality. This needs years to mellow and unpack the concentrated citrus and quince freshness that will carry it long into maturity.
Situated in the heart of Vouvray, Domaine Vincent Careme is the mastermind of young and dynamic Vincent Careme, The estate, overseen by Vincent and his wife Tania, currently spans 37 acres with different blocks spread over three villages: Vouvray, Vernou-sur-Brenne and Noizay. Most of the blocks are on steep slopes overlooking the Loire valley with two of them, Le Clos (meaning enclosed vineyard) and Le Peu Morier, being vinified separately to express their unique terroirs. All of Domaine Vincent Careme's wines are certified organic from 2010 onwards by Ecocert in France.
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.