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Settled on a limestone plateau above the Loire, the chalky soils of Les Bournais would not be out of place on Vouvray’s Première Côte (home to Clos de Bourg and Le Mont). Unlike most of Montlouis—which is on clay and flint—this four-hectare vineyard is on a pocket of clay and Bournais limestone, from which it takes its name. Planted in 1998, the vines gently follow the contours of the land, right to the edge of a chalky precipice. The roots have just 35 centimetres of clay soils to burrow through before hitting the limestone bedrock, perhaps one reason we always see a distinctive smokiness in the aromas of these wines.
When tasted alongside the Clos de Breuil and Les Choisilles cuvées, this is clearly an altogether more ‘Vouvray’ expression of Montlouis, with a powdery, chalky structure that reflects its soils and location. Chidaine now raises this wine in a single 1,000-litre untoasted oval made specifically for this wine. It’s hard to say what effect this will have on its evolution, but one thing is for sure: the new vintage is a hair-raiser. François Chidaine seldom comments on his wines during a tasting, but here he broke with tradition: “I like it a lot”. Translation: Buy what you can. This is a sensational Loire Chenin of exceptional intensity and length of flavour, humming with energy and chalky, limestone cut.
We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which we operate in Melbourne, and pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. We also acknowledge and respect the Traditional Owners of lands across Australia, their Elders, Ancestors, cultures and heritage, and recognise the continuing sovereignties of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations.
Warning: under the liquor control reform act 1998 it is an offence; to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (penalty exceeds $7000); for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (penalty exceeds $500)