Couly Dutheil Chinon Les Chanteaux 2009
by Cynthia Hurley
Found in Most of the Top Paris Restaurants!
Reg. $26.99 On Sale $21.99 By the Solid Case $19.99
ARRIVING June 9th!
I could stop right here. This wine has such a big fan club that keeping it in stock is a huge problem. We just got our 2nd shipment of our 2009 allocation from France so now is the time to get some while it is available because the 2009 vintage is just outstanding.
Here is how the growers are describing their harvest: "the freshness of 2005, combined with the richness of 2003", "some truly great wines (no exaggeration)", "lovely fruit, wonderful concentration and balance - on a par with 1989 and 1997".
Wine Spectator chimes in with "...best and most consistent harvest since 2005."
This is the moment to uncork some Loire wines.
I knew Les Chanteaux was highly sought after by all the best restaurants, but I was speaking to Mr. Couly recently and he reminded me that, in fact, it is on the wine list at 21 of the 26 Michelin Three-Star restaurants in France! That is unheard-of representation for a single wine at France's best restaurants.
Les Chanteaux is 100% Chenin Blanc. It comes from two different vineyards in Chinon: Les Goupillieres and Les Molieres, both known for their chalky soil and sunny exposures. The wine is harvested by tri which means multiple passes are made through the vineyards to pick only the ripest grapes.
It is a dry, round, vibrant wine with flowery aromas and a little melon and white pear on the palate. This wine is similar to its Loire cousin Vouvray but it has more weight and depth; it is a wonderful and unique expression of pure Chenin Blanc, and it is a wonderful and delicious break from Chardonnay.
Domaine Couly-Dutheil is a family estate that's been around for about 80 years. Baptist Dutheil married Marie Couly yada yada and they bought a piece of the most famous vineyard in Chinon, Clos de l'Echo, which used to be owned by Rabelais's father.
Rabelais was the 15th century satirist who believed a good, brimming glass of Chinon would probably do you a lot more good than putting your faith in Catholicism (he was banned by the Catholic church) and many agreed, which is why Rabelais is Chinon's spiritual mascot to this day and it's a sin to find yourself in this village with an empty glass. I love French history.