Only a couple of years ago, François Chidaine was only considered to be one of the wine-makers to watch in the Loire. This assessment was based on his excellent vineyard holdings in Montlouis, an appellation on the rise, and his commitment to biodynamic farming and non-intervention wine-making style. Now that the transition is complete, already, he is considered to be one of the great wine-makers in the Loire. His wines show a combination of finesse, minerality and power which we only encounter in the great wines of France. This is due to a number of factors, not least of which is his commitment to working the soil of his vineyards, and lowering yields below fifty hectoliters per hectare (3.5 tons per acre). The wines are only minimally chaptalized, and sugar is never added to a wine which is destined to have residual sugar, such as the Les Tuffeaux. The wines often ferment very slowly in Chidaines cold limestone cellars, and this makes for complexity in the wines which is unattainable through faster fermentations. Chidaine now sells out every bottle he makes within just a few months of bottling, and we are lucky to receive these wines which remain some of the best values in the wine market today.
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