[ Languedoc – France ]
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Frédéric Bourillon’s family has been making wine at Rochecorbon for many generations. Documents show the estate was founded in 1875, but it wasn’t until 1921 that Frédéric’s great grandfather, Gaston, established the estate as it is found today. Since taking over, Frédéric has been a leading figure among younger Vouvray producers, developing earlier-drinking, more user-friendly styles of Vouvray, while maintaining the tradition of producing great age-worthy botrytis affected sweet wines.
Frédéric is an amusing and original wine marketer, as well as a patron of the fine art of tufa cellar sculpture – as a visit to his wonderful 15 century cellars will testify. The cellars and vineyards are at Rochecorbon, about 3 Kilometres west of Vouvray and most of his vineyards are in one parcel surrounding the Château de Montgouverne, an amazing 18th century mansion on the plateau dominating the right bank of the Loire.
Frédéric Bourillon produces Vouvray wines of enormous charm and complexity. The dry Vouvray is crisp and clean and in perfect balance. Many dry Vouvrays are acidic and aggressive but, due to low yields, Frédéric obtains a richness and concentration that balances the typical acidity found in Chenin Blanc. The Demi-Sec bottling at Bourillon Dorleans is classic Vouvray at its very best – with enticing rich flavours of apple and exotic fruit and showcasing the polish that comes with enormous attention to detail and care.
The ‘moelleux’ style wines rank amongst the great dessert wines of the world. These are only produced in top vintages when conditions for the development of botrytis are perfect. Again, the very small yield and enormous concentration conspire to produce something very special and unique.