Origin: Coteaux du Layon appellation, Loire Valley, France
100% Chenin Blanc
Within the confines of the Coteaux du Layon in the Loire Valley lies the vineyards of Moulin Touchais. It is renowned for being one of the world’s longest lived and well-priced wines. Picked at various stages of maturity, this is a Chenin Blanc made in a sweet, late-harvest style where noble rot doesn’t play a large role. It is released a decade from vintage in order to benefit from tertiary complexity, but still possesses wonderful freshness and purity. The sugar level is around 80g/litre, but as the wines mature they tend to taste drier and the high acidity creates wonderful balance. The older and especially tougher vintages show some nutty, almost rancio characters that as Richard Kelley puts it, are for ‘proper’ Chenin lovers only! The great vintages such as 1971 and 2002 have decades of maturation ahead.
Described by Jean-Michel Touchais as a petit millesime, this is an attractive ‘old fashioned’ style Coteaux-du-Layon with very good balance which is clean, juicy and fresh. This appears drier due to the higher acidity. Whilst approachable now, it would benefit from further ageing. Despite the reputation, this is a good effort for the year and well-priced too. One for the cellar…