Pichot Le Marigny Moelleux comes off a 10 hectare vineyard. The vines allow the Pichot Le Marigny to be sweet but not overpoweringly so. There is enough acidity in Pichot le Marigny to balance the sugar and enough fruit to sit on top and make it appealing. Pichot Le Marigny smells of florals, citrus and stone fruits with the classic Vouvray mineral notes. On the palate, Pichot Le Marigny is round and generous. Plenty of obvious flavours, and while it is sweet at the front, the acidity keeps it clean on the finish and on the refreshing side.
I had the pleasure of drinking a 2009 Pichot Le Marigny in April 2021, and it was magnificent. It was fresh and vibrant, with just a hint of savoury notes creeping in. I would happily tell you to buy Pichot Le Marigny 2018 now and drink it from now until 2068 at least, especially because the screw-cap seal will keep it fresh.
The easy pairing for Pichot Le Marigny is goats cheese, or blue cheese. But Pichot Le Marigny will actually go with more dishes than you’d initially think because the acidity and savoury notes really add versatility.
The Pichot family is one of the oldest in Vouvray, with origins as viticulturists and restaurateurs going back to 1739. Their vineyard holdings are located mostly in the prime sites of Le Mont and Haut Lieu at the top of the village, with several other holdings scattered throughout the appellation. Domaine Pichot is an amalgamation of the properties of the father ‘Coteau de la Biche’ and the son ‘Peu de la Moriette’. The Vouvray from Pichot are well known for brilliant quality wines that are also excellent value. Exceptional balance, great intensity, and screwcaps will see these wines age for a very long time.
The people in the know are already on this. And probably don’t want the secret to get out. The Loire makes some fantastic wines of all colours and styles, which are stupidly cheap for the quality.
Can any white wine rival Loire Valley Chenin Blanc for elegance, grace and poise in the cellar? Some Rieslings would give it a run but not much else. Chenin, whether sweet or dry, produces wines with a lovely balance. Taut, unrelenting acidity and pillowy soft fruit that sits on top. The best wines think Savennières, Vouvray and Montlouis, can age for a surprisingly long time. Sancerre and surrounds offers wine lovers a legitimate reason to drink Sauvignon Blanc! Oh, and if Muscadet (made from Melon de Bourgogne) isn’t the very best oyster wine, then I’ll eat my hat.
Get stuck into the stunning sparkling wines that give Champagne a run for its money—at the same time, being such great value that they rival Prosecco and Cava.
And the reds from Cabernet Franc that will make lovers of Burgundy or Bordeaux swoon. Oh! And the Gamay and rose wines. Delicious.
Did I mention they make my favourite sweet wines in the world?
The ‘tuffeau’ chalk covered with clay soils and areas of flint and sand soils of Vouvray are where some of the world’s best Chenin Blanc takes root. The mineral, flinty core gives way to lovely pear, honeysuckle and lime zest notes. The best Vouvray wines are some of the best wines in the world.
It may not be the most popular or the most famous wine grape, but the good examples are outstanding! Lovely, fleshy/flowery apples and pears, a nice mineral – flinty streak, lemon zest and a touch of dough. I have always described good Chenin as feeling pillowy, and I stand by that. Round and fluffy mouthfeel, but the zesty acid kicks it into shape.
Moelleux means round, but in this context, it means sweet. Mostly this doesn’t mean Sauternes like sweetness, and generally, it means there is searing acidity underneath, so the wine is clean and refreshing.
The land that so many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
It is interesting to know that you can make white wine from almost any grape. The colour comes from the skins, and if there is no contact, there is no colour. White wines tend to be delicate, perfumed, higher in acid and lower in alcohol. It seems for this and many other reasons, it is hard to make an incredibly impressive white wine. But those that have mastered the art are indeed some of the best winemakers in the world.
It is a falsehood to think that white wine does not age as well as red wine. But it is correct that white wine, as a rule, doesn’t age for as long.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.