1983 Domaine Charles Joguet Chinon Clos de la Dioterie


Though I have always adored the Loire, I never had the opportunity to devote time à la Burgundy or Bordeaux. However, in recent weeks, several exceptional mature Loire wines crossed my path. I would be remiss not writing about them. This article will hopefully serve as an amuse-bouche for Rebecca Gibb MW’s forthcoming report on Chinon. The 1983 Chinon Clos de la Dioterie from Domaine Charles Joguet was poured blind at a three-person lunch with friends at the wonderfully-named Daffodil Mulligans restaurant in London. Former art student Charles Joguet ran the estate for 40 years. The pioneer of Chinon built a loyal following after a thrilling run of wines, though general consensus is that quality came off the boil in the Nineties before Joguet’s retirement in 1997. Perusing recent notes, the producer is back on track under winemaker Kevin Fontaine.

The renowned 2.22-hectare vineyard is Joguet’s crown jewel, located adjacent to the winery on a limestone/clay incline that descends down to the Vienne River. This cuvée comes from the oldest vines planted just before the Second World War that are traditionally the last to be picked, bunches completely de-stemmed and then aged in used barrels for around 18 months. This bottle, whose label had disappeared many years ago, showed only a small amount of bricking, perhaps commensurate with its maturity, certainly clear with no turbidity. The bouquet is perfumed and generous considering its age, very Burgundy-like, so much so that even when the region was revealed, I would have sworn it was a mature Morey-Saint-Denis even if we are talking about completely different regions and grape varieties! Over the course of two hours, the mulberry and crushed strawberry scents are joined by roasted chestnut and shavings of black truffle. The palate is blessed with exquisite balance thanks to its perfect line of acidity. There is a melted quality about this Chinon with just a touch of piquancy towards the finish. Over time in the glass, it also becomes a little more animally, discrete touches of saddle leather and game joining the chorus line, whilst remaining very persistent on the finish. This is utterly sublime. 94/Drink 2021-2035.

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