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Philippe Foreau Vouvray Demi-Sec Clos Naudin 2008

Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
  • RP94
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Philippe Foreau Vouvray Demi-Sec is only made in years when the grapes naturally reach a high degree of ripeness and the wine ages remarkably. Philippe Foreau wines exhibit an extraordinary panoply of flavors and aromas of fruit, floral and earth elements.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Subtle and alluring scents of musk, white truffle, iris, lily, and narcissus mingle with quince on the nose of Foreau’s 2008 Vouvray Demi-Sec. Lush and glossy (13% alcohol, incidentally) and lusciously loaded with quince, kumquat, and grapefruit, it carries hints of coriander, zesty sizzle, rhubarb tartness, and persistent truffle and floral perfume into an uncannily buoyant, soaring finish. The balance here is so deft you can practically consider the wine dry, and its scent from the open glass alone is worth the asking price. Expect it to be worth following for at least two richly rewarding decades.
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Philippe Foreau

Philippe Foreau

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Philippe Foreau, Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
HISTORY OF DOMAINE: Philippe Foreau is the third generation of the Foreau family to produce Vouvray from this fabled domaine which his grandfather purchased in 1923. Philippe assumed the direction of the domaine in 1983 upon the retirement of his father, Andre. Today the domaine consists of 11 1/2 hectares planted to Chenin Blanc.

COMPOSITION OF DOMAINE: The vineyards are located in the northeast corner of Vouvray, sited mid-hill with 100% south/southeast/southwest exposures. The principal vineyards are known as "Les Perruches" and "Les Ruettes". The average age of the vines is approximately 35 years. Yields over the past 10 years have averaged 33 hectoliters per hectare. The vineyards are tended pursuant to organic methods - without the use of herbicides and worked with organic fertilizers. Production levels are approximately 30,000 bottles per annum of still wine and 25,000 bottles annually of sparkling wine made following the traditional "champagne" method.

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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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.

KOE108420_2008 Item# 108420