Domaine de Beaumont, Mathieu Cosme (Loire Valley, Noizay)
The Domaine de Beaumont is found at the very end of the very last street in the little village of Noizay. Although only 20 minutes from the hustle of Tours, it is a world away--peaceful, tranquil, verdant. We love it here.
Mathieu Cosme looks more like a retired rugby player, his bear-like man-body belies the fact that he is making fine, aromatic, savory, dry Chenin Blanc.
Then he playfully says, "yeah but look at me. Do I look like I drink sweet wine?!"
A Vouvray producer many years ago told me that understanding Vouvray, and its ubiquitous grape, Chenin Blanc, goes a long way toward understaning white wine in general. It is ageworthy, yet lovely in its youth. It can be made dry, semi-dry, sweet, and sparkling. It is the most transparent of grapes, relying heavily on the ground upon which its grown, in this case the local tuffeau, a geologically ancient compressed stone. The vintage truly tells the winemaker what to do.
For me, this is the best place in the world for Chenin Blanc. Hands down. No contest.
Many decry Vouvray as sweet, which is unfair because Chenin Blanc is also a high acid grape, with any sweetness always balanced by freshness. Think of it like margarita fixin's--tequila, lime, salt. Chenin gives the same thing.
Regardless, this one is actually nice and dry, sumptuous on the lips, like a sweet kiss, and limpid and refreshing going down.
Les Promenards brings a smile to my face. I've been looking for a minerally and dry Vouvray for many, many years that really gets my juices flowing. Leave it to a rugby-playing, no-nonsense, winemaker to show me one.