Hervé Villemade

Hervé Villemade's estate can be found quite close to the village of Cellettes which is north east of the city of Tours in the Loire Valley. Here Hervé and his sister Isabelle produce exciting natural wines from a variety of grapes including Pinot Noir, Gamay, Malbec (called Cot in the Loire), Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay which are produced under the Cheverny appellation. They also have some vines in the Cour-Cheverny appellation where the obscure Romorantin grape is found.

Hervé makes his thrilling white wines using organic vineyard practices and organic winemaking methods. He also makes excellent reds based on a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay grapes. He also makes a no-sulphur Malbec and Gamay called Pivoine which we really love. His wines are also very low in sulphur.

Note: This domaine used to be called Domaine du Moulin.

Hervé Villemade Cour Cheverny Les Acacias Blanc 2012

This wine is made from the Romorantin grape, in fact the tiny Cour Cheverny appellation is the only place in France where it is produced. Hervé Villemade has Romorantin vines that are 50 years old and the grapes from these vines are used exclusively to make this wine. These vines are bordered by lovely large acacia trees which give the name to the wine. The wine was matured in 500 litre barrels.

This is a fascinating wine because it has been deliberately oxidised to bring out the best qualities of the grape. We love drinking it as an aperitif.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Hervé Villemade Cheverny Blanc Domaine 2012

This is a staff favourite both for its flavour and for its value-for-money. It is actually quite an elegant, refined wine that is perfect with a range of foods including seafood, cheese and white meats.

A blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chardonnay this wine is only produced in small quantities from vines that are between 18 and 24 years old. It is a fresh, lively wine with lovely fruit and a nice balancing acidity. The wine is matured on lees to provide additional complexity. The wine is unfiltered.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Tecnical Specification

Hervé Villemade Vin de Pays du Val de Loire Sauvignon Blanc 2014

This wine is a pure Sauvignon Blanc from Herve Villemade that belies its moderate price tag.

He does great things with Sauvignon Blanc and this wine is no exception - and at this price it is a steal!

It is classified as a Vin de Pays because the Cheverny appellation requires that white wines are blends of Sauvignon Blanc and either Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc or Menu Pineau.

This is an excellent wine for teaming with charcuterie, chicken dishes, fish and a wide range of vegetable-based dishes.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Tecnical Specification

Hervé Villemade Cheverny La Bodice Blanc 2014

A blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chardonnay picked from vines with an average age of 30 years, this wine is elegant, rich and lasts for a long time on the palate. The wine is unfiltered.

But there is a lot more going on here. It has oxidative qualities - one of the characteristics that we love in wine if it is done judiciously. Our first taste of this wine was quite explosive. The oxygen effect gives it an umami flavour that is compulsive and compelling.

It was aged in wooden vats and barrels in contact with its lees to provide additional complexity.

RRP: $47

Hervé Villemade Cheverny Rosé Domaine 2015

This delightful rosé wine is made from a blend of equal parts of Pinot Noir and Gamay which are crushed and fermented and matured in tanks prior to bottling.

It is a blended wine as wines with the Cheverney appellation on the label, cannot be single varietals.

It is a fresh, lively wine that is perfect for drinking at any time of the year. These two grape varieties marry so well in the bottle.

This is a great wine to have with a wide range of foods and is also perfect for sipping as an aperitif.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Hervé Villemade Cheverny Les Ardilles Rouge 2011

At the vineyard tasting this wine stood out for its elegance and structure. We loved the blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay.

There is a famous wine bar in New York called Terroir that publishes opinions about wine on their idiosyncratic Web site. Here is what they have to say about this lovely wine (they don't always use sentences!):

"Clay (light clays) and silex stones. More Pinot Noir (80%) than Gamay here. Superb nose, intensity. Les Ardilles is again and again, to my opinion, a great wine... Floral notes, elegant wine."

RRP: $36

RRP: $70 MAGNUM of the 2012  vintage

Hervé Villemade Cheverny Rouge Desiré 2014

We have received a tiny allocation of Hervé's amphora red. He buried three large amphora in his winery and this is his first vintage made completely in these ancient vessels. This one is made entirely from premium Pinot Noir grapes and is a silky smooth and compelling wine with that characteristic texture that can only come from amphorae.

RRP: $78

Hervé Villemade Cheverny Cuvee Domaine Rouge 2015

This vintage was an interesting one in the Loire. The quality of the grapes was very good due to the excellent summer prior to picking which allowed the vines to recover from the earlier rain storms.

The soil here is clay and flint over the limestone base that is widespread in this part of the Loire.

This vintage saw a mix of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Gamay undergo carbonic maceration for two weeks before the juice was transferred to old barrels for aging.

It is a very pretty, fresh, flavoursome wine with a compelling liveliness that shows off the two grape varieties perfectly. We like to serve it slightly chilled.

Chambers Street Wines in New York are particularly impressed with this vintage:

"very pretty aromas of plum, strawberry and blood orange with rose and violet; chalky raspberry and strawberry fruit on the palate, light but sappy and long with earthy citrus and berry fruits in the finish. This is a delightful, thirst-quenching red - serve cool with any chicken or pork dish, charcuterie and mild cheeses."

RRP: $33

Tecnical Specification

Hervé Villemade Vin de Pays Bovin

This wine is a special bottling of Hervé's silky red.  He thinks it is so drinkable that a standard bottle may not be enough! Therefore he is using a 1 litre bottle for this vintage.

This wine was bottled in February 2016 and  is a lively, fresh, flavoursome wine that shows off the grapes characteristics perfectly.

Made from 100% Gamay, the grapes are sourced from a special part of the vineyard and harvested entirely by hand and placed in small baskets.

This wine is classified as a Vin de France and Hervé says it is "frais et gouleyant, a boire d'une traite". Essentially he is saying it is fresh and should be drunk in one go!

RRP: SOLD OUT

Hervé Villemade Vin de Pays du Loir et Cher Pivoine Rouge 2011

The Pivoine is an exciting addition to our selection from Hervé Villemade's range. Made from 90% Malbec (called Côt in the Loire) and 10% Gamay this wine has had only a little additional sulphur added so it is a fresh, lively expression of the terroir and the Malbec fruit.

This wine is classified as a Vin de Pays because the maximum percentage of the Côt grape that can be used in a Cheverny red wine is 15% and this has 90%. If you want a reasonably-priced red wine that hasn't been filtered and has macerated for up to 20 days , this is a good one to try.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Hervé Villemade Vin de Table Bulle Blanche 2014

We have been able to secure a small allocation of  pétillant naturel sparkling wines from Hervé. They are presented simply with attractive labels and crown-seal closures (just like a beer bottle). These are ideal summer quaffing wines. This one is made from the very rare local grape called Menu Pineau along with some Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay for added complexity. It has a marked purity of flavour, along with a very, very fine bead and a fresh, lively mouthfeel and great depth of flavour with citrus and herbal notes. The finish is quite long and will leave you wanting another glass...and another.

This wine uses a crown seal closure with a plastic insert.

RRP: $42

Hervé Villemade Vin de Table Bulle Rose 2014

We have been able to secure a small allocation of pétillant naturel sparkling wines from Hervé Villemade. They are presented simply with attractive labels and crown-seal closures (just like a beer bottle). These are ideal summer quaffing wines. This one is a blend of 50% Gamay and 50% Pineau d'Aunis.

This wine uses a crown seal closure with a plastic insert.

RRP: $69 for MAGNUM