Valençay is the rare example of a French appellation that applies both to cheese ( established in 1998) and wine […]Keep Reading
Valençay is the rare example of a French appellation that applies both to cheese ( established in 1998) and wine (elevated to AOP in 2004) – and the first region in France to be officially recognized for both products. Situated on the southern bank of the Cher, Valençay can be seen as a southeastern and viticultural continuation of the vineyards of the Touraine. Like the Touraine, there are a wide variety of grapes permitted in the region including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Arbois for the whites, and Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Cot, and Pinot Noir for the reds. These are country wines – crystalline whites ubiquitously paired with the local goat cheeses* and pleasurable, vibrant reds that match beautifully with every cured, stewed or roasted part of a pig imaginable.
Nestled in Selles-sur-Cher, a small village on the banks of the Cher with its gracefully crumbling château, Le Claux Delorme is a 15 hectare estate that Bertrand Minchin purchased in 2003. The soils here are quite different from those in Menetou-Salon – primarily chalky sand with flint gravel. While traditionally the wines of Valençay are blends, Bertrand prefers the racy, forthwith and aromatic qualities of pure Sauvignon Blanc when grown on these soils. For his reds he makes a traditional blend of Gamay for the fruit, Cot for the color, structure, and aromas, Cabernet Franc harvested very ripe to add aromatic complexity, and Pinot Noir for its fine tannins. Bertrand farms Le Claux Delorme sustainably with certification from the French Ministry of Agriculture. Fermentations are in tank or oak vats followed by aging in stainless steel tanks, foudres, and French oak barrels. Naturally, when sharing a meal with Bertrand his Valençay Blanc shows up early in the meal and the rouge makes an appearance with the roasted pig knuckle.
*Just as a side note for fans of goat cheeses, there is probably no better place in France for their production than Valençay. Each village has its own special take on chèvre – fresh, aged, rind-ripened, etc.Close