Milestone Loire Chenin Blancs
Established in 1787, Moulin Touchais may have the largest, most impressive back-vintage offering on earth. Their 15km-long, underground cellars house roughly 2 million bottles of long-ageing, late harvest Chenin Blanc – with some wines dating back to the 1850s.
The grapes are picked at various stages for concentration and freshness, and then the wines are aged for at least 10 years before release. This happened because Joseph Touchais walled up his cellar to protect his most valuable wines during the WWII occupation and, afterwards, discovered that the wines were improving with age.
he wines are pure and fresh, whilst the sugar levels are only around 80g/l. As they mature, they tend to taste drier as the high acidity balances the richness and sweetness perfectly. Although present in the benchmark 1997, there is generally no botrytis. With age, the wines show more tertiary complexity and depth – nuttiness, saffron and cognac-like spiciness. They would pair very well with a tarte Tatin or aged hard cheeses.
Starting with 2005 and going back to 1968, we’re delighted to offer 5 wines spanning half a century! These are vintage guidelines from Richard Kelley MW – the world authority on the Loire and its wines:
The best wines: 2005, 2003, 2002, 1997, 1996, 1985, 1984, 1975 and 1971
Where the smart money is: 2005, 2003, 2002, 1996, 1984, 1975 and 1971
For pouring now: 1999, 1996, 1985, 1983, 1979 and 1968
For the cellar: 2007, 2005, 2003, 2002, 1997, 1996, 1975 and 1971