TN: 2008 François Chidaine Vouvray Les Argiles

  • 2008 François Chidaine Vouvray Les Argiles - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray (3/9/2011)
    Pale gold. Bizarre nose. Somewhere between reduced and musty. The wine was definitely not corked however. Once it warmed up, some pleasant lemon/lime aromas manifested. The mid palate of this was quite a pleasure. Fresh, clean and tart. Key limes and tart green apples. Once the chill wore off, it picked up some weight as well. Like most Chenin, this has many years ahead of it and it is marvelously framed with mouthwatering acidity. The finish is long and classy and offers a tiny bit of honey, similar to the singular drop you receive from a Honeysuckle blossom.

Posted from CellarTracker

Curse of the '08 Central Loire Chenins! I despise that aroma and perceived it to varying degrees in just about every wine I tried from this vintage. I have basically written the entire vintage off and am not drinking or cellaring any Chenin from this vintage. Too many wines down the drain because I couldn’t get past the nose.

drinking the 2008 F Chidaine Vouvray Le Bouchet. that is a puzzlement. demi sec on the front end and dry vouvray on the finish. no reduction no musty nose.

Interesting. I don’t have a ton of 2008. I thought the wine itself was quite good, I can understand your frustration.

Yeah, the wines are generally great on the palate; it is strictly an aroma problem. Interestingly, the one wine I tried that didn’t have this affliction was a Chidaine Montlouis.

Scott–describe what the off aroma is to you. I found a few wines with disulfides, but it was spotty.

John, if I was forced to come up with a term I would say rotten fruit. I don’t love that descriptor, but I can’t really come up with another word or phrase that accurately describes this odd aroma.

The two wines that really knocked me out with that aroma were Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups Vouvray “Les Caburoches” and Cave des Saumur “Les Epinats.”

Wow. Couldn’t disagree with you more. I’ve tasted quite a bit of '08’s and find them classic and typical both aromatically and on the palate and have purchased a bunch of them and plan on loading up even more. I don’t get the rotten fruit you get at all. I guess that’s what makes horse races.

Brad, I think I am in the minority here. I notice nothing about this in the tasting notes of most people who post on the 08’s I have drank. Maybe I’m insane, or maybe I’m just really sensitive to the compound responsible for the aroma. I gave up on the vintage after a half a dozen wines. In some cases, (Francois Pinon comes to mind), the aroma mostly blows off after some extended air time. However, I dumped at least 3 wines I usually look forward to every year as a result of this aroma. Extended aeration didn’t save Jacky Blot, Pichot, or Cave Des Saumur. They all went down the drain. I even got a hint of this aroma, (it was quite subtle here), from Huet in the '08 Le Mont Demi-Sec. I decided the '08’s were too risky after the Huet and diverted my money to the Mosel. I agree that the wines are classic on the palate; if I was certain that this aroma would disappear with age I would be a big buyer of this vintage.

scott-- the2008 Huet Le mont Demi sec was one of the wines that I got the disulfides in. This is a flaw that will never go a away. It smells like slightly rubbery, overripe parsnips with a little truffle oil. I think its diethyldisulfide. I also found it in one of the 1985 moelleuxs that we had in the same tasting (the clos du bourg), and also in the 08 Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu. Several of the others at the tasting found the same problems, but some didn’t. I suspect that theere is differential sensitivity to this compound, as I can’t stand it, whereas others don’t seem to even notice it. I’ve seen nothing except these comments on this thread otherwise about this. I don’t know if this is what you are noticing, but I suspect so. (It’s not rotten fruit, it’s a reduction related issue that becomes irreversible.) by the way, I didn’t note it in any of the chidaine wines.

John, thanks for the insight! Assuming we are talking about the same aroma, and I strongly believe we are, do you have any theories as to why an entire region might have issues related to reduction? If this is simply a wine making flaw, (as opposed to a vintage characteristic), I would imagine that my success rate would have been greater than 16%

Anthony, sorry for hijacking your thread. [oops.gif]

I very much enjoyed the 08 Argiles and didn’t find the nose bothersome.


Scott–I don’t really know enough about winemaking to speculate how this particular issue occurs. I just know it never goes away and I stay as far away from wines containing it as I can. It really seems to be a spotty thing, and not some thing I’ve seen across a vintage. I also think some people are not particularly sensitive to it, as I’ve been at some tastings where some just didn’t notice it. As I said, I did not find it in any chidaines, but I don’t think we tried the Argiles (I’ll check my notes). Also, the 2009 Huet secs had none of this and were wonderful.

Interesting. I am glad I am not the only one who has noted this odd aroma. Very happy to hear that Chidaine seems to have mostly avoided this curse.

No sweat my brother. This is interesting reading.

Is this the same “truffle oil” aroma that is mentioned in the WA reviews of 2008 Chidaines? I have found this before in Vouvray and I really liked it, but I can see how it might come off as a defect depending on taste.

The one I had was a bit musty almost making you think the wine was corked until you tasted it. I never really got too far past the musty aromas to get to anything like truffle oil.

Craig–I didn’t get the “flaw” in any of the chidaine wines, so I don’t know if we’re talking about the same thing. there are things that in large amounts are flaws, and in small amounts provide an asset, or add complexity. but the thing I’m talking about in any amount kills a wine for me. Truffle is an insignificant component–it’s hard to describe but is sort of like overcooked parsnip/marshmallow with slight rubber/truffle component. With these things it’s always a little hard alittle hard to know whether we are describing the same thing.

Interesting, as I have bought both the Habert and Bouchet so far and have yet to open one. FWIW, I have drank several of the MSL Choisilles and all of them to me tasted excellent. Aside from location difference, why would the Choisilles be exempt from this characteristic if the same producer is involved?

Frank, I think location is probably a big part of it. If I hadn’t had that troubled Saumur Blanc, I would have just assumed this to be strictly a Vouvray problem. I seem to recall that Vouvray saw a big rain storm and subsequent flooding in the summer of 2008. This lead to some mildew and rot difficulties. Montlouis got hit with the rain, but I think avoided the flooding. I don’t know if this is a wine making flaw, or a weather related problem, but from the vouvray I tried, 5 out of 5 were afflicted. 3 of the 5 were from some of Vouvray’s elite. The Chidaine Montlouis Clos Du Breuil I had recently, didn’t have the slightest hint of this aroma.