Le Rocher des Violettes Touche Mitaine 2013
For a young man from the north of France, Xavier Weisskopf has a remarkably precocious track record in the world of wine. He went to school in Chablis, where his passion for the vine took root and led to the wine school in Beaune. After earning a degree in viticulture and enology, he went to work for the dynamic, hard-driving Louis Barruol at Chateau de Saint Cosme in Gigondas. He quickly became Louis’ chef du cave, and made four vintages there.
In January 2005, Xavier bought 22 acres of vines in the Saint-Martin-le-Beau sector of Montlouis and an enormous, raw 15th century stone cellar—originally a quarry dug deep into the Loire’s chalk limestone bank in Amboise. Since that time he has increased his holdings to 32 acres of vines, split between AC Montlouis (22 acres) and AC Touraine (10 acres). The vines are scattered about in various parcels and were planted at different times, but the majority were put into the ground before WWII. There’s Chenin, followed by small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Grolleau for rosé, and Malbec (Cot).
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.