2006 Domaine Pichot, Vouvray “Domaine le Peu de la Moriette” Loire Valley, France.
The mature, bright golden/yellow and exotic Domaine Pichot demi-sec late cellar release Domiane le Peu de la Moirette Vineyard Vouvray from the 2006 vintage is lush and complex on the medium bodied palate with a touch of residual sugar giving a beautiful and expressive honey tone to go along with the lovely evolved fruit that includes classic peach, lemon preserves, dried apricot and nectarine. The wine is showing the best of its age with waxy notes, earthy truffle, bitter almond and dried florals with some round minerallity and stoniness as well, it makes for a rewarding wine that should go exceptionally well with holiday meals, especially roast poultry and baked glazed ham. There are some nice spicy, clove and herb notes that allow for this off dry wine to feel nicely balanced and not be cloying, this is drinking incredible right now and is a ridiculous good value. This terroir is set on clayey limestone and the Domiane le Peu de la Moirette vines have about 25 acres of high density plantings, which is perfect for making concentrated fruit driven wines, as this bottling shows perfectly. Domaine Pichot and winemaker, now Christophe Pichot, offers a Dry, Demi-Sec (off dry), young and cellar aged, and a Vouvray Moelleux, a sweeter version with Botrytis (noble rot), plus a sparkling Brut Chenin Blanc, in the Méthode Champenoise style.

Jean-Claude Pichot’s family, as the winery proudly notes, is one of the oldest in Vouvray, with origins as viticulturists and restaurateurs dating back to 1739, and with cellars cut from limestone which was once quarried to provide stone to construct the beautiful and historic grand châteaux of the Loire Valley. Domaine Pichot, imported to the states by Vineyard Brands, was established in 1996, with the estate consisting of the family’s three historic vineyards, Coteau de la Biche, Le Peu de la Moriette, as used for this late release bottling, and Le Marigny. The Pichot property is close to 60 acres of vineyards, which are all in the Vouvray appellation, located just six miles east of the town of Tours on the right bank of the Loire River. The vines here are thirty years old on average, with some over 60 years old and are 100% planted to Chenin Blanc. For this wine, Pichot picks a bit riper and used a soft pneumatic press on the Chenin grapes to not extract too much green phenolic bite and the wine was then allowed to cold settle for four days before fermentation, with 80% done in stainless and 20% in large oak vats. Then this wine was allowed to finish secondary, but was then bottled quickly and cellared aged in bottle for, in this case, over a dozen years. The younger versions of Pichot are bright, lightly aromatic, quince like tangy and fresh, underpinned by firm and crisp acidity, which is also value priced, and I can easily recommend them, along with the extended cellar aged wines, like this.
($28 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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