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Herve Villemade
Natural wine

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Address: Cellettes
Country: France

Herve Villemade is one of the stars of the natural wine movement in France. He tends his vineyards in the tiny hamlet of Cellettes in Cheverny north of the city of Tours and produces delicious wines that are produced naturally without the use of chemicals, commercial yeasts, enzymes, sugars or other unwanted artificial additions.
We first came across his wines in the venerable La Cremerie in the 6th in Paris. We tried his Les Ardilles which is a suave mixture of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay. This wine just sang! . We were blown away by the liveliness of the wine.
We then explored further and grew to love his La Bodice which is a Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay blend. And then we started drinking his two lower level wines labelled as Cheverny Blanc and Cheverny Rouge - these were also very appealing and became great favourites.
During a trip to New York last year we became regulars at Terroir wine bar and we once again came across Les Ardilles which they reviewed very favourably.
This is natural wine at its finest.
Herve also experiments with developing oxidative qualities in his wines. His Cour-Cheverny Romorantin often displays these characteristics. This year we were delighted to find the same qualities in his La Bodice white. From the moment that we pulled the glass stopper out of the bottle we were entranced by the complexity of this wine. It was stunning! The oxidative notes provided an umami quality to the wine, making it quite compulsive. Every sip was savoured. Every sip reminded us of the umami flavours of Japanese dashi stock, or Australian Vegemite or a French mushroom braise. Stunning!
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