Château du Petit Thouars
I have to admit a sliver of disappointment that our most prominent follower and distinguished former medical man was unable to diagnose the malady that the Touraine reformists have contracted. I can only assume that the disease is complicated and multi-faceted – doubtless very difficult to find a cure.
Last Friday we visited the exquisite Château du Petit Thouars in Saint Germain-sur-Vienne, which is at the western extremity of Indre-et-Loire and AC Touraine. This is Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc country – entirely logical and proper since the estate lies between appellations of Chinon and Saumur/Saumur-Champigny.
New plantation of Chenin Blanc
The estate now has 15 hectares of vines including 70 ares of Chenin Blanc planted this year. The rest is Cabernet Franc with the oldest vines planted in 1975. They make two cuvées – Selection from younger vines and Reserve from the oldest vines. Selection is designed for early drinking, while the Reserve has a longer élèvage and will often need further time in bottle to be at its best. The wines are good and very reasonably priced: Selection at 5€ and the Reserve at 6€.
The best wine I tasted during the visit was the 2005 Reserve, which I’m sure one would be hard pressed to pick out if it was included in a blind tasting of Chinons. It has good concentration of black fruits, structure, quite firm tannins at the moment and a freshness in the finish. To drink now this is best decanted as it still needs two or three years more years to hit its peak.
Unfortunately despite these wines typicité and quality they will be excluded from AC Touraine if the reforms pass because they are pure Cabernet Franc and don’t have the required minimum of 50% Côt, since the latter is rarely grown in this part of Touraine.
Words, I’m afraid, for the moment fail me…