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1996 Moulin Touchais Coteaux Du LayonChenin Blanc from France

$42.98

List Price: $60.00

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"Everything seems to be right where it should be with this wine -- acidity and sugars are well balanced and there is a quiet elegance that keeps you engaged and satisfied. Not ...

  • 95+ John Gilman - View from the Cellar
  • 95 Wine Enthusiast
  • 91 Cellar Tracker
  • 90 David Schildknecht - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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About

95+

"The 1996 vintage of Moulin Touchais is not as glazed with botrytis as the 1997 and relies more on desiccated fruit and late harvest ripeness to attain its sweetness, which gives it a different aromatic and flavor profile than the 1997, but the wine is every bit as profound. The excellent nose jumps from the glass in a blaze of fresh pineapple, quince, chalky soil, incipient notes of the honeycomb to follow, orange peel, bee pollen and a potpourri of citrus blossoms. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very racy in personality, with a great core of fruit, laser-like focus, striking soil signature and stunning length and grip on the electric finish. The 1997 has more flash at the present time and will always be the bigger wine, but my heart is won by the precision, refinement and inherent complexity of the racy 1996! 2020-2075."

95 Wine Enthusiast

"Editor's Choice. This estate, owned by the same family since 1787, has amazing stocks of old sweet wines maturing in its cellars. With red apple, honey and apricot aromas, this wine, mature and yet so fresh, is proof of the aging ability of Chenin Blanc. It is the balance between the ripe honeyed flavors and the intense acidity that keeps it so vibrant. Drink this superb wine now."

91 Cellar Tracker

Average 91.5 point score, Cellar tracker, based on 60 user reviews as of 5/21/2018.

90 David Schildknecht - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

"The most recent release of Moulin Touchais (for more about whose unusual operation, see my report in issue 172) is a 1996 Coteaux du Layon that illustrates the striking combination of mineral and nobly sweet characteristics that were possible in this unusual vintage, though its notoriously high acidity is scarcely noticeable thanks to the balance lent by high sugar and the harmony conveyed by time in bottle. Alkaline and wet stone aromas here approach the effect of sticking one’s head down a moss- and algae-covered cistern, accompanied by scents of lily, narcissus, quince preserves, stale bread, musk, and sweat. The rich quince character is carried and complimented by a juicy and not at all heavy palate impression, and this finishes with remarkable refreshment and pronouncedly alkaline and stony minerality, as well as snuffed candle wick smokiness and bitterness of quinine. Prices for these wines continue to be quite reasonable considering their combination of quality and late release that permits access to mature nobly sweet Chenin. Such access was still nearly universal in the early ‘80s, when Terry Theise first piqued my interest in nobly sweet Loire Chenin, but gradually the art of holding old stocks died, along with the fashion for these wines – indeed, along with many once-renowned domaines."

Product Description:

"Everything seems to be right where it should be with this wine -- acidity and sugars are well balanced and there is a quiet elegance that keeps you engaged and satisfied. Not too much of any one thing. Just right.This estate, owned by the same family since 1787, has amazing stocks of old sweet wines maturing in its cellars. With red apple, honey and apricot aromas, this wine, mature and yet so fresh, is proof of the aging ability of Chenin Blanc. It is the balance between the ripe honeyed flavors and the intense acidity that keeps it so vibrant. Drink this superb wine now.

Historic property of 145 hectares, of which only 10% is from the Coteaux du Layon appellation. Schist, limestone and chalk. Coteaux du Layon rarely gets much botrytis, and consequently many of the sweeter-styled chenin blancs are a result of the grapes dehydrating on the vine, rather than being concentrated by noble rot.

The Loire Valley has a long history of producing superb, luscious and riveting sweet Chenin Blanc wines from the appellations of Quarts de Chaume, Bonnezeaux, and Coteaux du Layon. Among the most extraordinary wines we have come across in the region are the Coteaux du Layons from Moulin Touchais. While the domaine produces a great number of wines from their 145 hectares of vineyards, the Coteaux du Layon accounts for less than 10% of their production and has earned them a reputation as a true jewel in Anjou.

Founded in 1787, Moulin Touchais has been passed down through eight generations of vignerons. The estate is renowned for producing a sweet Chenin that is aged a minimum of 10 years in the seemingly endless cellars located in the village of Doué-la-Fontaine. This tradition was born following the second World War when wine had little value and was very difficult to sell. Once the market began to rebound and the estate finally released their cellared stocks, they noticed that long-term ageing had resulted in a gorgeous evolution in bottle, and thus, 10 years became the minimum amount of time a vintage must be cellared prior to release. The estate is one of the few that offers a range of vintages, often 30-40 years old or older!

The longevity and complexity of Moulin Touchais wines are linked to a harvesting strategy where 20% of the grapes are picked around 80 days after flowering when the fruit is slightly under-ripe and loaded with acidity, and the remaining 80% is harvested in multiple passes as late as 100-120 days after flowering, which generally yields fruit with very high concentration and sugar levels. As a general rule, the closer the Layon river gets to the Loire, the more botrytis you will have due to mist and humidity. Since Moulin Touchais is upstream, there is rarely botrytis except in exceptional vintages where noble rot sets in and protects the berries allowing them to gain increased ripeness. " -Importer

Product Detail

Item # 91419
Country France
Region Loire
Sub-Region Coteaux du Layon
Ratings

95+ - John Gilman - View from the Cellar

95 - Wine Enthusiast

91 - Cellar Tracker

90 - David Schildknecht - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Vintage 1996
Color White
ABV 14.0%
Varietal(s) Chenin Blanc
Size 750 mL
Closure Cork
Features Dessert
Taste honeysuckle, quince, melon and cantaloupe
Nose honeydew, iodine, grass, citrus, melon and kiwi