Ludovic Chanson Les Cabotines 2012
Pairs well with sweet/savory foods such as a pork chop and apples or sweet and sour chicken.
Chanson’s first vintage of solo production was 2009; he bottled a ripe Sauvignon Blanc as well as a bright, laser-like Chenin Blanc. His is a non-interventionist philosophy to winemaking that lead him to hand harvest with successive passes to select only grapes at optimal ripeness. He ferments with indigenous yeasts, utilizes no chaptalization, no enzymes, or benonite, and blocks malolactic fermentation.
Chanson’s primary aim is to craft wines that best express the minerality of the silex and perruches soils of Montlouis. So as he got his land legs, he decided to jump on board the sparkling wine train, a small, newish movement of producers who are making Montlouis sur Loire Pétillant Originel (affectionately labeled Pet’ Nat), which got its AOC in 2007. Pétillant is different from the traditional – or Champagne – method in that it has much less carbonation than wines crafted in that style. It’s creamier, merely fizzy, and incredibly pleasurable to drink. Pétillant Originel bans the addition of sugar to jumpstart secondary fermentation. Any residual sugar that remains in the wine once the still juice stops fermenting starts the secondary fermentation in bottle once warmer weather arrives.
Chanson continues to produce his flagship bone-dry still Chenin, Les Cabotines, and is currently bottling one dry Pet’ Nat, Les Pions, one off-dry still (demi-sec), Les Pêchers, as well as one sweet still (moelleux) called Safran which contains 64 g/l of residual sugar.
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.