TN: 1990 François Chidaine - Montlouis: Les Lys

TN: 1990 François Chidaine - Montlouis: Les Lys

I picked up some of these rare pristine bottles in France some time ago. A quick look at Wine-Searcher reveals that there are no bottles for sale anywhere in the world older than 2007. I rarely see any tasting notes on pre-2000 Chidaine wines - why is that?

The label says 12% alcohol. The deep yellow optic seems correct for the hot and successful 1990 vintage in this part of the Loire Valley. An enticing nose of quince jam, green walnuts on the tree and a faint hint of fine honey. The mouthfeel has a medium viscosity and sweetness, with a fresh acidic profile throughout. The length is persistent and enjoyable. There is a finesse to this wine that I have not found in any Montlouis wine to date. Served blind, I would not have guessed that this was 26 years old. A lovely wine, drinkable now though no rush to drink and will probably develop over a further 10-20+ years.

And you didn’t want to visit him when we were in the Loire… [snort.gif]

Brad, it’s all about priorities! Besides, does he have museum stock like this 1990?

I appreciate the note, Nicos; I’ve had some old Vouvrays and numerous younger Montlouis – mostly from Delatang – but never one this old.

Is Les Lys considered their moelleux cuvée?

Thanks for the tasting note. I’m happy to see this, as I’ve been buying Chidaine’s Secs and Demis since the '08 vintage, and laying some down for the long haul.

("…buying Chidaines Secs" is more respectable written than spoken).


Frank, I do love old Vouvray’s. The Les Lys was definitely moelleux.

Warren, I do enjoy maturing secs.

Francois Chidaine began making wine at his family’s domain in 1988. The 1990 Les Lys was his first iteration of this infrequent cru that is produced in the moelleux style. I was lucky enough to win a 20 bottle lot at the La Tour D’Argent auction…sadly only 2 bottles remain. In a vintage where most sweeties cloy, as you say, Les Lys retains remarkable freshness. Thanks for highlighting. Now let’s give Vincent Careme some love.