In a nutshell: A ripe and expressive dry Vouvray from an exemplary Loire Valley biodynamic estate,
The lowdown: Vigneau-Chevreau is one of only two biodynamic producers in Vouvray and they have, over the years, proven themselves masters of Chenin Blanc. This is made from fruit grown on their flinty, clay soils and is fermented and matured at cool temperatures in stainless steel with just a small proportion matured in barrel to add complexity. It's got a fresh and piercing acidity which is offset by a hint of residual sugar highlighted in the baked apple flavours and is rounded off with a smoky minerality, citrus, floral and honeyed notes as it reaches a superbly well balanced and pure flavoured finish.
When to drink: Dry, but not bone dry, this matches well with fuller flavoured recipes featuring things like pork, feathered game, poultry and fish.
The Vigneau-Chevreau family have been making wine in the Loire valley west of Tours since 1875, and their 30 hectare domaine is planted entirely with Chenin Blanc. The late Jean-Michel Vigneau-Chevreau saw the benefits of organic viticulture in the early 90s and by 1999 the Domaine was certified organic. The next generation in the shape of brothers Christophe and Stéphane Vigneau have gone one step further by becoming one of only two estates in Vouvray to be certified Biodynamic. Their vineyards are dotted around the appellation and much of the work is carried out manually, harvesting is done by hand and they still use horses to work the vineyards. Their ancient cellars are dug out of tuffeau, the local chalky limestone.