Just over a year ago, in September 2014, I led a vertical tasting of Moulin Touchais with Munskänkarna in Stockholm, a wine tasting club. Moulin Touchais is a sweet wine from the Coteaux du Layon appellation in the middle part of the Loire Valley, where Chenin Blanc reigns among the white wine grapes. The producenter Touchais is located in Doué-la-Fontaine. This wine is mostly produced from overripe grapes rather than grapes affected by noble rot, which means that the isn’t extremely sweet. Particular for Moulin Touchais is that a proportion of the grapes are harvested early to further get up the level of acidity in the wine from the already high level typical for Chenin, that the wines are only released at ten years of age, and that the producer has many older vintages available for purchase. The high level of acidity both contributes to balancing the sweetness of the wines, and makes them more long lived.
2001 Moulin Touchais
The current vintage distributed to the monopoly shop shelves in Sweden, since it replaced 1998 in early 2014, if I remember correctly.
Yellow colour. Rather fruity nose with pear, fried apple, honey, spice notes, and some wool. Became more flowery with time in the glass. Sweet palate with honey, ripe pear, quince?, hints of peach, good acidity but not really a high level of acidity for a Moulin Touchais. Rather approachable but with a lot of honeyed character, doesn’t come across as a vintage for extended cellaring. 89 p
1999 Moulin Touchais
Was available from the Swedish importer.
Yellow colour. Rather fruity nose with citrus, some flowery notes – almost perfumed, some arrack(*) notes, and spices. Sweet palate with honey, citrus, good acidity, and spice notes. A somewhat fresher style than the 2001 with greater potential, 90+ p.
(*) Arrack is a common descriptor of Chenin Blanc notes in Sweden, but doesn’t seem to be too common elsewhere. It’s a spirit produced from molasses that goes into the traditional Swedish liqueur punsch, and is also used in some traditional Swedish confectionery and desserts. You wouldn’t be too far off thinking about dark rum when it comes to its aromas, but with less obvious alcohol.
1983 Moulin Touchais
Was available from the Swedish importer.
Light amber colour. A fully developed and complex nose with noticeable arrack notes, nutty and oxidised notes, and some caramel. Sweet and concentrated on the palate, very spicy with quite a bit of arrack. Fully developed and a spicy style, 93 p.
1 best vote.
1964 Moulin Touchais
Auction purchase, old label.
Rather light amber note. Oxidised nose with dried fruit, smoky notes, some dust and wool, nutty notes, arrack, and noticeable madeirised notes. Sweet palate with fried apples, spices, madeirised character, nutty notes, some fiery character mid-palate, and a long aftertaste with caramel. This wine’s nose has some problematic traits, and must reasonably be described as somewhat overoxidised and a bit tired (but still “alive”), but I definitely like the complexity. 91 p?
2 best votes.
These were bottles with good but not perfect fill level, see the picture at the top of this post. The cork was somewhat spongy. All together an acceptable but not ideal condition from these parameters. I can imagine that those that are sensitive to “funky” notes considered this the weakest wine in the lineup.
1959 Moulin Touchais
Auktions purchase, old label.
Light amber colour. A quite developed nose with honey, pronounced arrack notes, some dried fruit, spice, madeirised notes and some honey. Definitely a more vital nose than the 1964. Palate with honey, powerful concentration, noticeably spicy with arrack, dired fruit, good acidity, and a long and spicy aftertaste with berry notes. 93-94 p
7 best votes.
These were bottles with good but not perfect fill level. The cork wasn’t as spongy as in the 1964s. Rather good condition, but 1959 in perfect condition can show fresher aromas and come across as younger. 1959 is a fantastic Moulin Touchais vintage, which was produced in quite large quantities.
1953 Moulin Touchais
Was available from the Swedish importer last year (but no longer). Fully modern label and both the level and cork indicated that it has been recorked rather recently.
Amber colour with light green rim. Nose with pronounced chocolate notes, nuts, madeirised notes, dried berries, and perhaps some dill. Definitely different aromas than the 1959 and 1964. The palate comes across as the least sweet of the flight, and shows spices, caramel, madeirised notes, and chocolate. Very complex character! 92 p
12 best votes.
1949 Moulin Touchais
Auction purchase, semi-old label (vintage indicated on a separate neck label). Is likely to have been recorked once, but not recently.
Amber coloured, slightly veiled. Nose with dried berries, caramel and toffee notes, spices and madeirised notes, but in a nuanced way. Palate with caramel, powerful concentration, nuts, chocolate-covered hard toffee, noticeably spicy, arrack, some dried fruit, and a long aftertaste. Most similar to the 1959 among the rest. 93 p
9 best votes.
Well, as always it was a real pleasure to taste through older vintages of Moulin Touchais!