Ludovic Chanson "Les Cabotines" Montlouis-sur-Loire 2019
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Direct Press Selection • December 2022
Press 4 White
Chenin Blanc is an endlessly rewarding grape that is one of the world's superior varieties. It, like Riesling, is among the few grapes that can make truly great wine across the spectrum from sticky sweet to austerely dry. It can be overwhelming to figure out what you'r getting sometimes, but the wines from Montlouis are a great place to dive in.
Ludovic Chanson is detail-oriented and science-minded for most things, but when it comes to Biodynamic farming, he finds freedom in accepting he doesn't have to understand everything on how it works. It’s more about trusting the process that so clearly makes a positive difference. His wines are ripe, fragrant and expressive, with an underlying energy that keeps them inviting. I find that the ethos for growers in Montlouis is far more independent-minded than in the more staid Vouvray just across the river. Leading voices like Francois Chidaine and Jacky Blot, both champions of expressing unique vineyards with natural methods, have inspired the work of a talented new generation of growers like Franz Saumon and Ludovic Chanson.
‘Les Cabotines’ is the signature cuvee from Ludovic, a dry wine in the Montlouis style, serious, textured and respecting the local terroir. 100% Chenin Blanc all from Chanson's estate holdings. Fermented and aged in barrel, this has bruised apple and rooty ginger notes typical of Chenin from Montlouis. Fuzzy stone fruit notes with subtle caramel and honeyed tones. There's a bit of botrytis, adding a richness that almost seems sweet but is really just creamy, sultry, and complex. Because it reads as less biting this vintage, it's great as an aperitif on its own, but it will truly shine alongside salmon, pork chops, or spicy Thai cuisine. Bruno Sant'Anna and Jonathan Kemp