New Arrivals From
Francois Chidaine
The Master of Chenin Blanc

Chidaine's gloriously concentrated, beautifully balanced and characterful Chenin Blancs from Montlouis and Vouvray are as good or better than any others and quintessential expressions of this hugely underrated noble grape. Given their affordability, they make a powerful case as the finest wines available from anywhere, at their price.

François Chidaine is one of the Loire Valley’s great success stories. After finishing viticultural school in the mid-1980s, François went to work alongside his father, Yves, who had only four hectares of rented vineyard land in the appellation of Montlouis, in Touraine. Yves retired in 1989 and passed the torch to François who quickly found a feel for the vineyards and an ease with the multitude of growers who tended them. François was able to find access great sites and eventually options to purchase parcels and add them to the family estate.,

The majority of François’ terroirs are situated in Montlouis, where there is a striking minerality derived from the flinty soils that have  given the appellation its own reputation for excellence. While François is a darling of the organic and biodynamic movements, he is by no means interested in indicating as much on the labels. Instead, he focuses on keeping his 40- to 80-year-old vines healthy and yields low, averaging 35 hl/ha. He follows the almanac developed by biodynamic legend, Maria Thun, which looks at both the solar and lunar calendars to establish the best timing for specific vine treatments. He and his team harvest the entire crop by hand.

We are listing three of his best drier styles here from two excellent years; 2017 and 2018. 

At these prices, you owe it to yourself to get to know these wonderful wines.

In stock now

Montlouis, Les Bournais 2017 - $39
93 points - Vinous
"The 2017 Montlouis Les Bournais conveys a fabulous interplay of richness and airiness that is compelling. Orchard fruit, chamomile, almond, sage and lightly honeyed notes all grace this wonderfully expressive, lifted white. Les Bournais sits at the inflection point between Chidaine’s sec and tendre wines, and while it has plenty of depth, its sweetness is not especially prominent. (Drink between 2020-2025)" - Antonio Galloni

Montlouis, Les Choisilles 2018 - $35
94 points -Vinous
"Blended from different plots with silex soils. Very elegant on the nose, offering apple and pear plus hints of pepper, smoke, crushed stone and honey. Lithe and lean in the mouth, featuring underripe apricot and pear, bright acids and tons of minerality. (Drink between 2020-2038)" - Jason Wilson

Vouvray* Les Argilles 2018 - $30
*Technically labeled a 'Vin de France because although from the renown CLos Baudoin in Vouvray, Chidaine vinifies the wine across the rivver in Montlouis causing him to lose th right to the Vouvray appellation.
94 points -Vinous
"The 2018 Les Argiles is bright, finely cut and remarkably nuanced. White orchard fruit, chalk, mint and white pepper give the Argiles a striking aromatic upper register. The Argiles, which emerges from clay-rich soils, impresses more with energy than the breadth I expected. Perhaps that will develop in bottle. This chiseled, finely-cut Chenin has a ton to offer. Bright saline notes punctuate the finish. (Drink between 2023-2033)" - Antonio Galloni

Michael Glasby
2266 Central Street #3
Richmond, CA 94801
415-350-3127 (direct)

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