Chinon, le Chêne Vert, Bruno Sourdais 2018
Three years ago Lay and Wheeler got hold of a package of Bruno Sourdais’ 1989 Chinon Quatre Ferrures. As 1989 was a classic Chinon year and I have fond memories of Joguet’s Clos de la Dioterie from that vintage, I was up for getting some. It was excellent, and I see from my notes that I finished off the third and final bottle last New Year’s Eve. I don’t remember that at all, which is unfortunate and slightly worrying.
After trying the first Quatre Ferrures I decided to order a mixed dozen directly from Sourdais. This included his highly regarded rosé, his standard Chinon and two from individual lieux-dits, le Chêne Vert and les Clos. The rosé didn’t really hit the spot for me – I much preferred Joguet’s. Before this, the only other bottle I had opened was one of les Clos, at Christmas 2021. My less than effusive note reads simply ‘OK.’ But whether it is the change of wine, an extra year in the bottle or just me, this is a different matter altogether. In Loire Cabernet Franc terms, this is certainly up there with Jacky Blot’s Pied de la Butte – unmistakable, but not weedy or vegetal in any way. Something of a bargain at 9€. Le Chêne Vert is a vineyard that Sourdais shares with Joguet – and I’m now rather excited about the 2015 Joguet version that is waiting in the cellar for the right moment.
I remember reading an item by a Chinon buff not too long back in which he suggested that 2018 may be the year Chinon fans have been waiting for since 1989, and that they should all fill their boots while they can. I spent an hour or so last night seeing if there was any more Sourdais available to add to the four I still have. Not a hope. Damn, another missed opportunity…