The Wine: Les Chardons Touraine 2019
Thierry Chardon Les Chardons Touraine is an organic wine made from 100% direct press Sauvignon Blanc grown in Touraine, Loire Valley, one of the best areas for Sauvignon Blanc in the world. Incredibly complex nose with citrus and tropical fruit on the nose, zippy acidity for a crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, a great classic from Touraine. Serving temperature: 50 F.
The Producer: Thierry Chardon
Husband and wife team, Thierry and Sophie Chardon, founded their estate in 1996 in the village of Couffy on the Cher river. Thierry came from a family of winemakers but, after his father was forced to sell his vineyards, decided to become a firefighter instead. Years later, Touraine and family history drew them back and he and Sophie began a winemaking estate of their own. They converted to organic farming and winemaking practices in 2007 after plot comparison proved that the organic plots were healthier than those non-organically farmed. Their vineyards also benefit from gentle slopes and good drainage.
The Region: Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is a vast region located in western France. It stretches from the hills of Auvergne all the way to the Atlantic coast, cut in half by the Loire River. With over 4 million hectoliters of wine per year, the Loire Valley is one of France’s biggest and most diverse wine-producing regions. The Lore Valley’s production ranges from every-day quaffable and unpretentious wine to some of the country’s finest whites and reds.
The Terroir of the Loire Valley
Upper Loire sub-region: continental climate, soils are mostly flint and limestone formations. This is the land of Sauvignon Blanc, with Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé being the most famous appellations (AOC).
Touraine sub-region: continental climate, soils can be clay with flint or limestone, and chalk. Chenin Blanc is the main grape varietal for white wines, with Sauvignon Blanc coming in second. Red wines are made mostly from Cabernet Franc.
Anjou sub-region: maritime to continental climate, crumbly and soft soil formation called tuffeau. Anjou is well-known for its Chenin Blanc wines, mostly dry although there are good examples of sweet Chenin Blanc in Coteaux du Layon.
Saumur sub-region: continental to maritime climate, soils are made of tuffeau limestone in this similar to Anjou sub-region. Chenin Blanc is vinified as a sparkling wine with the champenoise method, Cabernet Franc is made into light and peppery wines.
Pays Nantais sub-region: maritime climate, the region stretches to the Atlantic Ocean. Soils are rocky with granite formations. Muscadet is the main grape varietal of this area, known for wines that are mineral, crisp, and refreshing.
The White Wines of Loire Valley
White wines represent the biggest share with about 65% of the total production. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Melon de Bourgogne, and Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne are the most popular grape varietals in the region.
The Red Wines of Loire Valley
Loire Valley reds are very distinct in terms of their style. Light and lean, lively and fruity, easy-drinking and food-friendly, they are some of the best everyday wines on the market. Some of the best examples of this style are made from Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Malbec.