Take Note: New Blood in the Loire - 2008 Carême Vouvray Le Clos

Posted by Joe Salamone

Take Note: New Blood in the Loire
2008 Carême Vouvray Le Clos
Benchmark Vintage

For decades Vouvray has been dominated by two names, Huet and Foreau. Today, we introduce a third - Vincent Carême.

In presenting Carême's wines, we didn't want to take any half-measures: we went straight to his top wine from one of the best vintages of the past decade.

The fact that a great producer's top wine can be had for $34.95 a bottle is yet another reminder of the ridiculous value that Loire Chenin Blanc delivers. There are few better wines for budget conscious people to stuff their cellars with. Chenin's aging curve is no joke. Expect Carême's Le Clos to continue to evolve and gain complexity over the next decade.

Whenever we're in France, we always keep an eye out for Carême's top wines. Up until a few months ago, you couldn't find anything besides his entry level wines in the U.S. We're really happy that this has finally changed. Carême's top wines very much deserve the spotlight.

It's impossible not to compare Carême to Huet, Vouvray's gold standard. If Huet's wines come across with an effortless grace and complexity, Carême's Le Clos is more impatient, demanding to be heard. Luckily, its voice is beautifully clear and intense.

The 2008 vintage in the Loire is a really strong one. Without a doubt it's one of the best of the past couple decades. David Schildknecht has come out and said, "The quality of Central Loire Chenin Blancs in 2008 has to be one of the least-appreciated stories of that vintage anywhere in France." Top producers did indeed turn out stunning and ageworthy examples of Chenin in 2008. Sadly, most of these have disappeared from the market. Which is all the more reason to take advantage of Carême's Le Clos while it's still around.

The 2008 Le Clos delivers a long, nervy acid spine that's backed by a gripping, chalky minerality. The stone fruits, spice, and honeyed notes display a shocking amount of clarity. The total package is one of precision, verve and pristine expression.

For me, Carême's 2008 Le Clos is one of the most exciting new arrivals of 2014. This is a really impressive wine and one that I'm very happy to offer.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits