The best Chinon in decades

The real reason I could only afford two bottles for my cheap summer wine piece is because I purchased a proper wine as well. We prefer expensive wines, eh? For the record, this is £18.50 from Stone, Vine and Sun and it’s a steal at that price.

I have a reasonable amount of time for Chinon; the cheapies can be delightful and good ones show real class. I loved the late 80s and early 90s Joguet’s I drank at Oxford and this bottle is the most stylish and sophisticated I’ve had since enjoying them. The vineyard name of this might irk my Morey-dwelling chums, though.

Chinon Clos de la Roche 2009 from Wilfrid RousseChinon Clos de la Roche 2009, Wilfrid Rousse

Now this nose is Chinon at its loveliest – blackberry fruit of good ripeness mixed up with a herbal, leafy set of aromas. It is certainly really complex and, surprisingly, ripe enough to show a hint of alcohol sweetness. You know, if I put on my most imaginative hat I could almost begin to think about suggesting this could be mistaken for a hilariously elegant and restrained Zinfandel. That is, I suppose, a bit of a wild set of scents to be hanging around a Chinon. Less enthusiastically, it’s far too refined for Zinfandel, but its a silky, ripe, brambly nose of good harmony and poise. The palate REALLY does it for me, and it will for any lover of svelte, silky wines. The fruit is ripe and charming whilst being a llama’s expectoration away from over-maturity, it’s got a vibrant thrill of acidity and those tannins are just the nuts. They have more than a hint of leafy life, but are incredibly polished and svelte. It’s highly attractive, distinctly complex and rather long. I think it’ll age extremely well, developing into a beautifully refined entity of scented minimalism, but balls to that! I like it with the life it shows now. And I mean NOW! I was going to have a glass with lunch and one with dinner but it’s all going to be necked over the next few minutes – POWER UP! It’s just great and drinking this over the next six to twelve months, especially if a little above cellar temperature, will charm, refresh and excite.

  •  So glad you like these. After tasting the 2009 Clos de la Roche as a cask sample on several occasions I knew we had to have some. When ordering from Wilfrid and Annie last year it was still not bottled, so I was very concerned that I might miss the boat. Fortunately they were still able to offer a small quantity when I ordered earlier this year. I’d better buy some myself before the punters read your enthusiastic review and devour it all.

  • Well, thanks for selling me one, Gordon! I hope some of my readers do buy this, as I think it’s extremely good and cracking value. However, if all I’ve managed is to encourage you to score some to enjoy yourself then I have done well!