Founded in 1912 by Edouard Langlois and his wife Jeanne Château from the outset the company specialized in the sparkling wines. They suffered a major setback in 1915 when Edouard Langlois was killed during the First World War. However the business was carried on by his widow and continued to thrive.
In 1973 they were acquired by the famous champagne house Bollinger and with the financial investment that came with it were able to expand both their cellars and vineyard holdings in Saumur, Saumur-Champigny and Sancerre. In 2007 their winery at Saint-Hilare-Saint-Florent in Saumur was significantly expanded and now handles their entire production and distribution operations which are under the stewardship of the current chief winemaler and general manager, François Régis de Fougeroux. These days in addiition to their renowned Loire Valley sparkling wines their growing range of still wines is also starting to make waves.
Chenin Blanc 100%.
Saumur whites are made from Chenin Blanc and are characteristically crisp and fruity. Here the wine has a pale yellow hue and an intense nose with aromas of ripe stone fruits at first with honey and toasty notes following. Strikingly crisp at first it then shows its real fruitiness and generous, ripe structure. And it wraps up well with a pleasingly fresh and clean citrus finish.
Subtle and elegant it's the ideal companion for raw or cooked shellfish, grilled white fish and even works with asparagus.
ABV = 13.0%.
"The lovely 2016 vintage (5*) is rich, vibrant and finely poised. Bright, light lemon/green, it is full-bodied (14 per cent alcohol), with fresh, intense fruit flavours, hints of spices and honey, abundant sweetness (51 grams/litre of residual sugar), mouth-watering acidity and a lasting finish. Full of youthful drive, it's already delicious; drink now or cellar." 5 Stars - Michael Cooper's Buyers Guide 2018
Established in 1992, the Dicey family owns some of the oldest vineyards in the Bannockburn region of Central Otago on the famous Felton Road and have acquired land over the last ten years to build up to over 40 hectares, including six single vineyard sites. Their portfolio vineyards spans Central Otago from Gibbston to Lowburn Valley and on to Bendigo home still under Mount Difficulty at Bannockburn.
Central Otago provides New Zealand’s only continental climate, combined with unique soils ideally suited for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The Bannockburn area, in particular, is one of the few sites outside of Burgundy that lends itself to the growing of the pernickety Pinot Noir grape; Mt Difficulty craft wines in the Burgundian style whilst stamping the uniqueness of the terroir to produce structured and serious wines. Not content with growing superb Pinot Noir, they are also known for their aromatic whites and grape varieties such as their grower series Lowburn Chardonnay and Estate Chenin Blanc.
Winemaker-in-chief Matt Dicey has a lifelong association with the wine industry and is a fourth-generation vigneron. After achieving a Masters Degree in Oenology and Viticulture, Matt spent four years gaining experience overseas.
As with all New Zealand wines, Mt Difficulty adhere to strict sustainability practices and constantly strive towards organic production.
Mount Difficulty is the name on the leading wines. The ‘second label’ is named Roaring Meg; these wines are produced in a more fruit-driven, early-drinking style and have become a mainstay of the Mt Difficulty stable since their introduction in 2003.
100% Chenin Blanc.
This is a medium-sweet Chenin: residual sugar = 51g/litre.
See the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the team at Mt Difficulty.
This single vineyard Chenin Blanc is grown in the Long Gully vineyard in Bannockburn. The grapes were left on the vine to ripen for as long as possible which has led to a lovely, intense nose of tropical fruits such as mango and passionfruit. The tropical flavours follow through on the palate with concentrated flavours of mango and ripe peach. The natural high acidity of the Chenin has resulted in a wine that starts sweet but develops into a lovely and clean lime tinged finish.
ABV = 14.0%.
Awarded 17 points (of 20) on Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages (www.JancisRobinson.com) - reviewer Richard Hemming MW - in July 2020 (see blue link below)....
... and made one of three Wines of the Week (all SA Chenins) on 24th July, 2020, the wine described thus:
"Block W is one of three single-vineyard Chenin Blancs made by Mulderbosch, from a granitic site south of Stellenbosch and close to False Bay. Other than the size of vessel (Mulderbosch choose 1,500-litre foudres for fermentation and maturation), the winemaking and analysis are very similar to those of the Hope Marguerite, yet the result is appreciably different.
There is a creamier texture here, with riper apple fruit. With its nutty complexity and pale golden colour, there is also a suggestion of either slight oxidation or botrytis influence (or both, since they often go together), which combine brilliantly with the fresh acidity and bitter finish".
Founded in 1989, multi-award winning Mulderbosch Vineyards is one of South Africa’s foremost wine producers. As advocates to the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) code, they manage their vineyards limiting the use of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. They use a restrained approach in the cellar to produce distinctive and characterful wines that represent the Stellenbosch terroir. Chenin Blanc is the Cape’s signature variety and they have the largest planting of this variety in the world. In 1996, Mulderbosch was one of the very first producers in the Cape to ferment Chenin Blanc in barriques. The resultant wine garnered an avid following and Mulderbosch has since become synonymous with the variety.
The grapes come from the Single Vineyard Block W, which is located in the Rustenhof area of Stellenbosch. The soil is Cambrian Cape granite, a duplex soil with a marked textural contrast between the coarse sandy topsoil and the clay enriched subsoil. The clay subsoil, offers good water retention properties, which help to nourish the vines during the hot summers. The vineyard is situated just over 2.5 miles from the sea and vines are grown at an elevation of 65 to 70 metres. The sea breezes have a cooling influence on the vines, imbuing the grapes with a natural acidity that beautifully balances the ripe, concentrated flavours the grapes reach in this warm, sunny climate.
The 2017 vintage has measured up to the highly-rated 2015s and some argue that the vintage has produced wines of greater purity and intensity of flavour. Windy conditions in the summer of 2016 and leading up to the harvest played a role in moderating excessive temperatures. The increased wind activity had a beneficial effect on the grape quality, notably on the aromatic intensity. Block W was harvested at a low sugar degree to ensure balanced acidity.
The grapes were whole bunch pressed, settled overnight and racked to 1,500 litre foudres for fermentation and maturation. Once fermentation was complete, the wines remained on lees for the duration of their 10 month maturation in barrel, which imparted texture and complexity. The wines were racked and prepared for bottling in January of the following year.
100% Chenin Blanc.
Mineral in profile, this wine is tightly wound in its youth, slowly maturing over time to release delicate floral nuances, trimmed with a finely poised line of acidity. Textured with delicate spice from subtle oak ageing, this is a superlative example of Chenin Blanc with a saline finish.
ABV = 12.0%.