6 Feb 2011

Wine of the week 11

Is a very special Vouvray, and you get the vigneron with it! I spoke about Vouvray in a more general way quite recently

following a tasting of some of the excellent 2009's, as well as some amazing older vintages from this Loire appellation that produces only white wine, but virtually all kinds of white wine: sparkling, dry, demi-sec and downright sweet.

This wine is, technically a demi-sec (semi-sweet) as it contains 17 grams per litre of residual sugar, but it has such intense acidity and power that it will seem virtually dry to many. The wine's name is La Cuvée des Sens, from the 2008 vintage, and it certainly thrills the senses. It is produced (not every year, I understand) by Laurent Kraft, one of the best of the young generation of producers from Vouvray. It comes from a tiny plot of 110 year-old vines situated right in the heart of the appellation, in an area that is considered to be its prime part, called Le Bourg. It is hard to make out on this map but it is smack in the middle of the base-line of the yellow area, just to the right of the small town of Vouvray and overlooking the valley.

The wine took about 9 months to ferment to this stage and was then raised in oak barrels for another 2 years. It has just been released and Laurent hand-signs it with the vintage added on the back. I found the wine to be quite rich in flavour, with it's power and intensity moderated by its glorious acidity. The slow oxydation produced by the long ageing has added terrific complexity, making it quite difficult to describe the flavours. Suffice it to say that these are delicious and lingering. The wine simply vibrates on the tongue as if it were filled with a soft, pulsating electrical charge of very low voltage. I am definitely going to buy a few bottles of this, especially since Laurent sells it for a very reasonable price of around 10 euros, which is incredibly low for a wine of this quality. He says that he wants as many people as possible to be able to try it. I only wish there were more producers like him! 

You may find it hard to locate his wines, all of which are good to excellent. Here is his website: http://www.laurent-kraft.com/

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