Vouvray wines


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Vouvray is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France.

The Touraine appellation yields red, white, rosé and sparkling wines. For white wines, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc are the preferred grapes, but they may be blended with Chardonnay. For red wine, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir are the primary grapes, but they too may be blended with Cot (the local name for Malbec) or Pineau d'Aunis. Rosé may be made with Gamay or either of the Cabernets.
cellar The region boasts several of the greatest appellations in the Loire Valley. Vouvray celebrates the versatility of the Chenin Blanc. Nearby, Chinon, Bourgueil and St Nicolas de Bourgueil make wines that set international standards for Cabernet Franc. To the east, Cheverny makes wines that are as likely to resemble those of the Centre Loire as those of its nearer neighbors. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are as much in evidence as Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. The smaller appellation of Cour-Cheverny makes only white wine, using the Romorantin grape. The Romorantin is also an element in the fresh white wines of Valençay, which are generally based on Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay with the addition of the little known Arbois. The red wines of Valençay use the same grapes as are used throughout the region. Smaller appellations include Touraine Amboise, Touraine Azay-le-Rideau (made in the area surrounding one of the most beautiful château in a the Loire Valley), Touraine Mesland and Touraine Noble Joué.

Wines from the French commune of Vouvray to the east of Tours are made in a wide range of styles from the Chenin Blanc grape. Vintages in the Loire are highly variable, but in the best years Vouvray can produce stylish and very long-lived white wines.

vineyard The countryside around the city of Tours is known as the "garden of France," a verdant, fertile area where the aristocrats of the Ancien Regime built their great châteaux.
The Loire Valley surrounds the longest river in France, and encompasses the most appellations in any classical wine region. Near its eastern edge lies the city of Tours, and just to its east, the town of Vouvray. Vouvray is well known for its white chenin blanc wine, named aptly "Vouvray". These wines are made 100% from the chenin blanc grape.
There are seven townships in this appellation, which falls in the touraine district of the Loire. The Vouvray appellation was only created in 1936, although monasteries worked with wine for centureis before that time. Note that chenin blanc wines in the other parts of the world are called merely chenin blanc.

The Vouvray AOC was designated on 8th December 1936. Its 2000 hectares cover the commune of Vouvray in the département of Indre et Loire, and the neighbouring villages of Chançay, Noizay, Reugny, Rochecorbon, Sainte-Radegonde-en-Touraine (part of Tours since 1964), Vernou-sur-Brenne, and part of Parçay-Meslay.
The appellation regulations dictate that the wines must consist almost entirely of Chenin Blanc, but in theory can also contain a small amount of the Arbois grape.
The Chenin Blanc grape is best known for its use in the Loire Valley of France. There, it is used to make Vouvray. It is also planted in the Central Valley area of California. Chenin Blanc is a white grape that produces crisp, balanced wine that ages well.
Vouvray can be affected strongly by terroir, or the composition of the soil the grape is grown in. Those from clay soil might tend towards a fruity flavor, while those made on perruches (flinty clay) soil might taste more of minerals. Vouvray is typically drunk young, within 6 months of bottling, around 3 years from when the grapes are picked. However, fine years of Vouvray have been known to last up to 100 years in excellent condition.

Vouvray Mousseux AOC and Vouvray Petillant AOC are both made via MÉTHODE CHAMPENOISE
"The Loire Valley is most often associated with gardens and castles and not much else. We journey the 150 kilometers southwest from Paris and take a day or two visiting Chateau de Chambord and Chenonceau, all the while enjoying the delightful flora and thinking of bygone days when princes and noblemen still roamed the cavernous halls in this ancient land. But the French know better. They know what we foreigners are just beginning to discover—that some of the most interesting, delicious, and affordable wines in the world hail from the chalky soil on which those famous castles stand. But I assure you that real chenin blanc from the land that put the grape on the map is nothing like its slanderous imitators. Good Vouvray chenin blanc is charming, firm, and delicate, exhibiting a nutty, floral, honeyed character whose rich flavor is balanced by palpable acidity and bracing minerality. Like all great wines, Vouvray tastes like the place in which it was made, its flavors reflecting the flinty clay of the soil and varying with the finicky northern weather. As a result, though not every Vouvray is good, almost every Vouvray is unique. The best cuvées from the best vintages constitute some of the most haunting, complex, long-lived white wines produced anywhere. Chenin blanc done well is a seductive pleasure enjoyed by few outside of France, but available to all in today’s global economy. So even if you’ve been burned by the California commercial chenin blanc of yore, consider giving the grape another shake by becoming acquainted with the place where it all began. At least three things need to be said about Vouvray in order to convey a basic sense of the uniqueness of the region and its wines. Here goes: 1. Vouvray comes in multiple styles: don’t be caught unaware. Essential to buying and ordering Vouvray is knowing that it comes in five styles: - dry (sec) - off-dry (tendre) - semi-sweet (demi-sec) - sweet (moelleux) - sparkling (pétillant). 2. Vouvray ages like none other. In the popular imagination, fine aging is the exclusive domaine of big, tannic red wine, high-end Burgundy, and vintage port. Not many honeymooners think of buying a white wine to put away for their silver anniversary. But top Vouvray deserves to be uttered in the same breath as Sauternes and good German riesling, which make up the lion’s share of the select list of white wines possessing serious aging potential. The ample acidity characteristic of Vouvray ensures the structural attributes necessary to longevity, and the high levels of residual sugar present in the sweeter varieties give the acidity a concentrated substance to break down over the years. The extent to which fine, sweet Vouvray can fruitfully age will surprise most: some don’t reach their full potential for a century or more. To prove the point, a bottle of 1919 Vouvray moelleux (made by the famous vigneron Huët) is currently selling for a pretty penny on an online wine auction website. But it isn’t only the super-sweet, super-expensive wines that age with grace. A few months ago, I enjoyed a mouthwatering Vouvray tendre from 1990 (!) priced at $22 (!!) that represented the striking possibilities of which off-dry Vouvray is capable over time. Few other wine regions offer the opportunity to sample mature wines—red or white—at such a reasonable price. And even fewer provide the kind of quality and complexity typical of affordable aged Vouvray. 3. Vouvray pleases wine novices while intriguing wine experts. Vouvray’s unique ability to age and its tendency to reflect terroir make it a variety that delights wine enthusiasts in search of distinctive wines to enjoy in the near and long term. But most Vouvray tends to charm wine novices as well. This is especially true of the prolific demi-sec and tendre varieties, whose soft nose and sweet flavors make it particularly accessible to those who blanch at sharp or dry wines. Not long ago, a friend who had only recently overcome her affection for Arbor Mist asked me to suggest a wine under $13 that she could bring to a dinner party hosted by someone who knew wine. I directed her to an $11 Vouvray. She informed me later that the wine impressed the host and pleased the guests, including those who weren’t “into” wine. Her only regret was that the bottle evaporated so quickly that she only got to drink half a glass. One would be hard-pressed to find another wine that has such a broad range of appeal at such a terrific price point. Not many people may think of a Vouvray as a party wine, but it deserves to be in the narrow category of wines you’d be as confident serving to the wine cooler crowd as to the oenephile set. So whether you’re looking for a bottle to open at your toddler’s college graduation, a gift for your favorite sommelier, or a crowd-pleaser to pull out in bulk at your next clambake, Vouvray’s the thing. Reverse the curse of old school California chenin and join the party that the French started long ago. You won’t be sorry."

Vouvray dry (sec), off-dry (tendre), semi-sweet (demi-sec), sweet (moelleux), sparkling (pétillant)

Vouvray is the largest white wine appellation of the Anjou-Saumur-Touraine region and it produces splendid wines from the dry and austere to the richest dessert wines, as well as excellent sparkling wines. Vouvray is made exclusively from Chenin Blanc, which has been grown in the region since the 4th century. On average, 60% of each vintage is made into still wine and 40% is made sparkling.
Winemaking has been recorded in the region since the fifth century AD. According to legend, Saint Martin of Tours (316/7-397) was responsible for the development of viticulture in Touraine. In particular he reputedly introduced the Chenin Blanc grape, known locally as Pineau de Loire.
The siliceous-clay, and limestone-clay soils lie on top of tuffeau, the limestone used to build the many châteaux of the surrounding countryside. The cool climate insures good acidity, which is balanced by the distinctly fruity character of the Chenin Blanc, and the mineral qualities imparted by the soil. The Vouvray vineyards are subject, in good years, to botrytis cynera, the mold responsible for most the world's greatest sweet white wines. In these years, harvest is delayed until well into November (the latest harvest in France) and there may be several pickings in order to harvest the grapes at their moment of optimum ripeness. In other years, only dryer wines are made.
Vouvray can age magnificently for decades and has been known to remain in prime condition for more than a century. The wine develops richness and depth over time but will never lose its fresh and fruity character. Sparkling Vouvray shows all the qualities of the still wines but with an even more pronounced flavor of minerals. It is an excellent aperitif, but also an ideal sparkling wine to drink with a meal.
Vouvray tends towards a sweet but dry flavor, again, affected by where it is grown. Typical flavors include lemon, fruit, and minerals. Some vouvray wines have flavors of apples and pears. The richer style of Vouvray is called moelleux. Moelleux tends to be a more pure gold color, and has flavors of honey, caramel and prunes.
What food do you serve this wine with?
Vouvray goes very well with shellfish, lobsters, shrimp, and seafood. It should be drunk at around 47F - i.e. just warmer than fridge temperature. Vouvray is usually drunk within 2 years of its release.
Chenin Blanc tends to taste of apples, pears, tropical fruits. It tends to be dry to semi-dry, and goes well with chicken, seafood, and fish. It can age for 2-5 years. It should be served at 48F.
Vouvray wines sail well with shellfish.
If you would like to try a different white wine with shellfish, consider a Vouvray.
Vouvray is made from chenin blanc grapes, and the area of Vouvray in France's Loire Valley grows some of the best in the world.
The chenin blanc is a superb grape for matching with shrimp or lobster, but the trick is discovering whether the wine is sweet or dry. A few are even considered sparkling.
At a price point of $10 to $15, it is difficult to predict whether you will find a sweet or dry wines.
Although there are exceptions, a general rule of thumb is that the more expensive wines tend toward sweetness and the less expensive the wine the more dry it is.
Recommended vintages: 1993, 1995-1997, 2000 (sec and demi-sec), 2001-2003, 2005.
Recommended winemakers: Huët, Champalou, Foreau, Fontainerie, Chidaine, Fouquet, Pinon, Vigneau-Chevreau, Brédif.

Essential to buying and ordering Vouvray is knowing that it comes in five styles:
Sec is the dry variety, though due to its natural floral, honeyed flavor profile, chenin blanc will rarely be as dry as sauvignon blanc or other bone-dry whites. Vintners produce more Vouvray sec (and sparkling Vouvrays) in cooler vintages than in warmer vintages, since the most unctuous grapes tend to earmarked for the more hallowed sweeter Vouvrays. Nonetheless, the dryer Vouvrays, when made with care, can be as multidimensional and satisfying as any value white wine.
Tendre contains more residual sugar than sec but is still relatively dry. Its popularity is growing, perhaps due to its appeal to those who are attracted to Vouvray’s aging potential but shy from sweet wines.
The prototypical Vouvray, demi-sec, is semi-sweet without being heavy or syrupy, and it constitutes at least the plurality of Vouvray’s still wine production in every vintage. Most consider demi-sec to be Vouvray’s most natural variety, and its honeyed freshness represents the pinnacle of chenin blanc’s expression.
Moelleux is a full-on sweet wine, composed mostly of grapes that have been ravaged by boytritis cinerea—the “noble rot” made famous by Sauternes. Like Sauternes, Vouvray moelleux is built to be cellared, with the best examples developing complexity and nuance that deepen the wine’s flavors decade after decade. Many are considered still to be in their prime up to 100 years after bottling.
Finally, pétillant, which comes in dry and semi-sweet varieties, is Vouvray’s answer to neighboring Champagne’s world-famous sparkling wine. Part of pétillant’s distinctive charm its tendency to be crisp even when somewhat sweet, thanks to chenin blanc’s delightful balance between honey, citrus, and mineral flavors.
Being aware that these differences exist will help you choose a wine that lives up to your expectations. Not that you could go wrong in selecting a Vouvray at random from a good wine shop if your aim is to simply to taste an unfamiliar wine. But no one likes to drink something sweet when they’re expecting something dry, especially if they’ve carefully paired their meal accordingly. Fortunately, the majority of Vouvray bottles bear one of the above French designations. For those that don’t, if it’s fairly old (pre-2000 is a good rule of thumb), chances are it’s at least off-dry or semi-sweet; if it’s young, ask the staff at the wine shop (and if they have no idea, consider shopping elsewhere!).

"Vouvray, Loire, vineyards and hillsides".
It is best known for its production of white wine, among some of the best rated in France.

Vouvray is a town and commune 10 km east of Tours on the north shore of the Loire River, in the Indre-et-Loire département of France. It is best known for its production of white wine, among some of the best rated in France.
Location: Loire Valley, France (near Tours).
Size: 2,000 hectares (˜4942,2 acres) of vineyards.
Production: 13 million cases per vintage.
Principle grape: chenin blanc.
Food pairings: lighter fare, fresh salads, goat cheese (simpler sec and tendre); roast pork loin, wild turkey (better sec and tendre); thai, moderately spicy Asian food (demi-sec); foie gras (moelleux).
Price: $11-35.

Coordonnées :

Vouvray come in all shapes and sizes and are redolent of terroir. The basic wines are dry (sec), with crisp fruit flavours, but some of the best wines are made in a demi-sec style that can be aged for decades. In the rare years suitable for the development of noble rot, fully sweet moelleux wines are made. As the still wines have fallen out of fashion, the majority of Vouvray wine is now made into sparkling wines. Vouvray mousseux is fully sparkling, with a bottle pressure over 3.5 bar, whereas Vouvray pétillant is semi-sparkling, with a pressure of 1-2.5 bar.
The annual harvest is one of the latest in France, usually occurring in November, and vintages in Vouvray are more susceptible than most to the vagaries of the weather. When the weather is right, the wines can be some of the greatest in France.
A seasonal speciality found in the local bars in November is bernache, the first juice that comes from the grapes before they are pressed, which is fermented a little by the natural yeasts on the grapes.
The appellation regulations dictate that the wines must consist almost entirely of Chenin Blanc, but in theory can also contain a small amount of the Arbois grape.