Clos du Porteau
Montlouis sur Loire
We love the Chenin Blanc grape from the Loire and its ability to show both richness and freshness at the same time. We have been looking for a wine to serve with festive meals – with foie gras, lobster and other rich foods – that will add the right balance between acidity and sweetness. This Montlouis 2012 comes from the 16th century Clos du Porteau, owned by Isabelle and Aynar Clermont Tonnerre whose family has been based in Touraine for over 800 years. The vines are planted south facing on clay silex soils with limestone bedrock. The estate is now farmed organically, which gives greater precision and minerality to the wines. Handpicking at night ensures that the grapes arrive fresh at the winery where they are pressed and most of the harvest is allowed to macerate for 10 days at 5°C before being fermented in oak barrels while 20% goes through a 10 hour pre-fermentation maceration before being pressed to give weight and more aromatic expression. The fermentations take place very slowly (85 days) and then the wines are aged on the lees for three months. This is a lovely Montlouis with a very fragrant and expressive nose of Chenin Blanc with a touch of sweetness; aromas of melon and ripe pear dominate. On the palate the wine has great liveliness and purity with lots of fruit, spice and nutty flavours. Although the wine has about 5 grams of residual sugar, the finish is clean, persistent and very fresh.