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 Côt in the Loire), Sauvignon Blanc, Menu Pineau and Chardonnay which are produced under the Cheverny appellation. They also have some vines in the Cour-Cheverny appellation where the obscure, yet exciting, 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.

His vines have been certified organic since 2001!

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

Hervé Villemade Cour Cheverny Les Acacias Blanc

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 nearly 60 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. In fact, we think that Romorantin is one of the few grapes apart from Savagnin that relishes oxidative treatment and which improves both the flavour and the ability to last.

We love drinking it as an aperitif due to its energy – it almost tries to burst out of the bottle due to a small amount of carbon dioxide protecting the wine. The 2018 vintage is reasonably high in alcohol (15%) although it doesn’t exhibit any of the negative characteristics of this level of alcohol due to the careful winemaking.

RRP: $104 for 2010 (SOLD OUT)

Hervé Villemade Cheverny Blanc Les Souchettes 2016

Villemade les Souchettes

This is the first time that Hervé Villemade has made a still white wine entirely with the Menu Pineau grape variety. Menu Pineau is a rare grape variety only found in the Loire Valley in the Touraine area (around the city of Tours) and near the town of Blois. It is also known locally by some producers as Orbois. It was mentioned in the survey of all the French vineyards conducted by André Jullien in 1824 as being a grape variety used in the Touraine
district. His 1832 re-issue mentions Menu Pineau as being the most widespread grape variety in Vouvray!

It is a classic white wine that cries out to be served with chicken dishes, charcuterie or seafood such as oysters. It has a perfect level of acidity for these dishes and it lasts long on the palate. This cuveé was bottled in January 2018.

RRP: $53 (SOLD OUT)

Hervé Villemade Cheverny Blanc Domaine 2019

Villemade Cheverny Blanc

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.

The wine was matured in steel and fibreglass tanks. The treatment has made this a much more lively wine than usual. In fact it is the best vintage of this wine we have ever received.

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: $41 (SOLD OUT)

Hervé Villemade Vin de France Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Villemade Sauvignon

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! It has intriguing white pear and other fruit characteristics without them being dominant.

The wine was matured in steel tanks and fibreglass tanks for an extended period before being bottled in late February 2020.

It is classified as a Vin de France because the Cheverny appellation requires that white wines are blends of Sauvignon Blanc and either Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc or Menu Pineau, hence this one does not meet the appellation rules.

This is an excellent wine for teaming with charcuterie, chicken dishes, fish and a wide range of vegetable-based dishes or just drinking at any time of day or night.

It is designed to be drunk young! It is 13% alcohol for this vintage.

RRP: $38 (SOLD OUT)

Hervé Villemade Cheverny La Bodice Blanc 2019

Villemade La Bodice

A blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Chardonnay picked from vines with an average age of 41 years. The vines grow on sandy soils sitting over flint. The yield from this vineyard is very, very low at a miniscule 10 hectolitres per hectare.

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 an amphora (40%) and wooden barrels in contact with its lees to provide additional complexity. You can see the reference to the 40% in amphora on the label above.

RRP: $58

Hervé Villemade Vin de France Rosé 2019

This delightful rosé wine is made from a blend of Pinot d’Aunis (50%), Gamay (25%) and Côt (25%) which are crushed and fermented and matured in tanks prior to bottling.

It does not meet the requirements to display the Cheverny appellation and therefore was not submitted to the appellation and therefore is labelled as Vin de France.

The wine was bottled in March 2020 and weighs in at 12% alcohol.

It is a fresh, lively wine that is perfect for drinking at any time of the year. These three 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: $35 (SOLD OUT)

Hervé Villemade Cheverny Les Ardilles Rouge 2019

At the vineyard tasting, this wine stood out for its elegance and structure. We loved the blend of 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Gamay grapes that came from vines growing in sandy soils with flint and limestone.

The vines from which the grapes were picked range in age from 23 to 41 years.

This wine is elegant, displays pronounced minerality and has an intense aroma that is very appealing. It is a very good example of where the blending of Pinot Noir and Gamay can produce a wine where both grapes contribute to making a wine where the sum is better than the parts.

Les Ardilles was bottled in July 2020.

RRP: $58 (SOLD OUT)

Hervé Villemade Cheverny Cuvee Domaine Rouge 2020

Villemade Cheverny rouge

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 large tanks for maturation.

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.

RRP: $42

Hervé Villemade Vin de France Bovin Rouge 2020

Villemade-Bovin-Gamay

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 making it excellent value for money.

This wine was bottled in February 2021 and  is a lively, fresh, flavoursome wine that shows off the grapes characteristics perfectly.

Made from 100% Gamay, the grapes are sourced from a a vineyard in the Cher Valley 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: $42 (SOLD OUT)

Hervé Villemade Vin de France Bovin Blanc 2020

Villemade-Bovin-Gamay

This wine is a special bottling of Hervé’s using mainly Sauvignon Blanc – he did add a little juice from the end of the pressing of his other white grapes. 

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 making it excellent value for money.

This wine was bottled in February 2021 and  is a lively, fresh, flavoursome wine that shows off the grapes characteristics perfectly.

Made from mainly Sauvignon Blanc, the grapes are sourced from a a vineyard in the Cher Valley 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: $42

Hervé Villemade Vin de Table Bulle Blanche 2015

Villemade Bulle Blanche

We have been able to secure a small allocation of pétillant naturel sparkling wines from Hervé.

They are presented simply with attractive labels and a cork stopper held in by a wire cage. These are ideal summer quaffing wines.

This one is made from the very rare local grape called Menu Pineau along with equal parts of 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.

RRP: $54 (SOLD OUT)