Coteaux du Layon 1er Cru Chaume
Coteaux du Layon 1er Cru Chaume from Domaine des Forges
Location: The Chaume AOC is a tiny enclave of 78 hectares within Coteaux du Layon. It was recognised by decree on 21 February 2007. (See the article on the Premier Cru Chaume appellation process online.) The wines come from designated plots around Hameau de Chaume, and fall within Rochefort-sur-Loire. The appellation decree limits the yield to a maximum of 25Hℓ per hectare.
Grape variety: Chenin, harvested when it is over-ripe.
Terroir: Sandstone shale, quartz and puddingstone on a carboniferous subsoil. The terroirs are on hillsides, making for excellent concentration.
Winemaking: The grapes are harvested in passes collecting small sections of the bunches. The grapes are pressed gently using a bladder press. Alcoholic fermentation is controlled by adjusting the temperature and the wine is aged in tanks and barrels.
Tasting notes: A dried fruit nose with notes of toasted almonds. In the mouth, a good intensity with candied fruit aromas accompanied by the typical honey notes we expect from this appellation.
Pairings: Ideal as an aperitif, or with foie gras or blue cheese canapés. Serve before dessert, ideally spiced or tangy flavours based on cinnamon, orange peel or bitter chocolate. Avoid pairing with very sweet desserts.
Drinking: Drink within the first 4 years. A 3 to 4 year dumb period follows (avoid drinking during this time, or decant well in advance). Open aged 8 or more years to experience the tertiary aromas. Keep for 15 to 20 years.