Benoît Gautier – Vouvray
I met Benoit Gautier thanks to Boris Desbourde our Chinon producer and Ivo Pages our producer from Cataluña. When I told them that I was looking for sourcing wines from the Vouvray appellation, they both recommended me the Domaine de La Châtaigneraie in La Rochecorbon.
Vouvray is an all-white wine appellation made from Chenin Blanc grape in the heart of the Loire Valley, located along the right bank of the river, east of the city of Tours. Depending on the vintages and the date of the harvest, between August and November, the grape offers a variety of styles from dry to medium-dry, even sweet when harvested late in the season.
The domaine of 15 hectares de la Châtaigneraie has been owned by the Gautier family for centuries. Benoît, a charismatic wine-maker, well known in this part of the Kings Valley, has run it since 1981. Interestingly enough, the region features an assortment of limestone caves, where vineyards like the Gautier family stock their wines. Could it be a coincidence that this ancestral underground network recalls the troglodyte house in Turkey where the legend of St George, who gave its name to the medium sweet cuvee of Benoît, may have begun?
Vouvray Sec “Argilex” 2017 75 cl
100% Chenin Blanc
Dry Chenin Blanc grape (5 grs of residual sugar) from a flint and clay soils, the perfect companion with seafood, Japanese food and raw fish and winter favourites such as Tartiflette or a Raclette dishes and goat cheeses. 90/100 WINE SPECTATOR
Vouvray Demi-sec “Saint-Georges de Gautier” 2016 75 cl
100% Chenin Blanc
Semi-dry Chenin Blanc (18 grs of residual sugar) from flint and clay soils. Alcoholic fermented in stainless vats withtemperature control. Maturing on fine lees for 7 months then bottling in early April to preserve the freshness and natural aroma of the wine.
Ideal with blue cheeses and Asian food such as Thai cuisine. A cuvee named after the patron saint of England to who the church next to the vine plot is dedicated. What could be better than Cuvee St Georges enjoyed along with the country’s national dish – a sumptuous and spicy curry.