Vouvray Sec, Château Moncontour, Loire, France, 2019

£18

The iconic structure of Château Moncontour was built by Charles VII in the 15th century and lies in the heart of Vouvray, high on a ridge above the Loire. The winery, dug into the hillside beneath, was established in the 4th century and is one of the oldest in the Loire Valley. Christian Feray, a surgeon, bought the Château in 1994, having coveted it since he was a child, and has moved Moncontour to the forefront of the Vouvray renaissance. Winemaker Jérôme Loisy makes thoroughly modern wines – fresh, racy and full of ripe orchard fruit – across his dry and sparkling range. The grapes were pressed slowly and gently, with must selection occurring during the pressing phase. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at 17-18°C for a month, once the balance between acidity and sugar was right the fermentation was halted. Post ferment the wine was matured on lees for four months with regular racking to add body and richness. Spring was cold with severe frosts impacting on the development of grapes, resulting in a drop in yields across the region. However, the warm and sunny summer months made up for the chilly spring conditions, allowing grapes to ripen fully on the vine about a month ahead of schedule with an excellent balance of sugar and acidity. Château Moncontour has 130 hectares of vineyards. The dry Vouvray comes from a unique parcel in the village of Rochecorbon, near to Vouvray. Soils are chalky and clay-like and the vines range from 20 to 45 years.

Food pairing: Fish and white meat in creamy sauces: skate wings, chicken livers, and veal sweetbreads with morel mushrooms; cheeses such as Swiss Gruyère, Comté, Salers or Reblochon.

This wine is pale lemon in colour with youthful hues, and is reminiscent of green apples and white flowers. The palate is crisp, clean and beautifully balanced, with a long refreshing finish. 100% Chenin Blanc

Winemaker: Jérôme Loisy
Alcohol (ABV): 13 %
Acidity: 7.96 g/l
Residual sugar: 6.7 g/l

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