Text Size:-+
02.26.2005

1996 Domaine Pichot Vouvray "Moelleux," Vouvray (Loire), France

The Pichot family is one of the oldest in Vouvray and can trace its members (mostly restauranteurs and viticulturists) back as far as 1739. The family estate is located inside the city limits of the town of Vouvray, and both the cellars as well as part of the family home are located in caves hewn from the rocky hillsides.

The domaine combines two sets of properties "Coteau de la Biche," owned and managed at one time by the family patriarch Jean-Claude, and "Peu de la Moriette" owned and operated by his son, Christophe, who has recently taken over management of his father's parcel as well. Most of the domaine's wines are actually bottled under two separate labels, bearing each of these names, as well as a joint label.

On its steep hillside vineyards, the family grows only the Chenin Blanc for which the appellation is famous, and they are one of the few individual family producers in the region which is increasingly dominated by negociant bottlers who purchase grapes from various properties. The age of the vines on the property vary from 20 to 55 years, and they apparently keep yields down to a ridiculously low level.

The family produces several classic dry Vouvrays, as well as this demi-sec wine known as Moelleux, which literally translates to "mellow." This term is often used to refer to describe wines that are semi-sweet, but don't reach the sugar levels normally associated with full dessert wines.

To make their Moelleux, they allow some of their grapes to become botrytized, or infected with Noble Rot, a process which concentrates the sugar in the grapes (most famously used to produce Sauternes).

Tasting Notes:
This wine is a light yellow gold in the glass and has a wonderfully different bouquet of aromas, which include old parchment, banana, flint, and some tropical fruits that are hard to pin down. In the mouth it is sweet yet balanced nicely with some acidity, and shows primary flavors of pineapple, quince, and fresh rainwater that fade into a nice finish.

Food Pairing:
While technically this wine could make an excellent aperitif wine or something to sip on its own, I chose to serve it at a wine dinner with a dessert of caramelized pineapple cake, and panna cotta topped with pineapple granita.

Overall Score: 9

How much?: $22

This wine can be purchased easily online.

Comments (4)

thecaveman wrote:
02.26.05 at 10:06 AM

And you can cellar them for decades... yummm... Vouvray. Does a pretty good job with fois gras a la torchon as well.
Caveman

adam curling wrote:
08.01.05 at 5:58 PM

We here at The Inn at Little Washington love the Domaine Le Peu de Moriette Moelleux 95'... Currently it is being used as a pairing to our Limoncello scented soufle'. Exceptional quality, and still has much life to live.

BrooklynGuy wrote:
12.26.06 at 12:51 PM

Hi Alder,

We had the 1990 with our poached pears in cardamom and vanilla syrup on x-mas eve...delicious! I think well aged Loire sweet wines are the best values in dessert wines. Happy new year!

04.20.14 at 10:12 PM

This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am really impressed to read
all at single place.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)
Yes
 

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Pre-Order My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, Chateauneuf-du-Pape: Current Releases Vinography Images: Rising Light Book Review: The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert The Beauty of 2011 Burgundy: Highlights from La Paulee de San Francisco Seven Percent Solution Tasting: May 8, San Francisco Vinography Images: Autumn Cellar Vinography Images: Vines and Sky Are You a Red, Pink or a Purple Wine Stater? 2014 TAPAS Iberian Varieties Tasting: April 27, San Francisco Taste Washington Day One in Brief

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month

 

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.