Situated within the confines of the Loire’s Coteaux du Layon appellation, Moulin Touchais guarantees its customers a century of longevity. However impractical this guarantee may be, Moulin Touchais is renowned…

Situated within the confines of the Loire’s Coteaux du Layon appellation, Moulin Touchais guarantees its customers a century of longevity. However impractical this guarantee may be, Moulin Touchais is renowned for being one of the world’s longest lived and most well-priced wines. Picked at various stages of maturity, this is a Chenin Blanc made in a sweet, late-harvest style where noble rot doesn’t play a large role. It is released a decade from vintage in order to benefit from tertiary complexity, but still possesses wonderful freshness and purity. The sugar level is around 80g/litre, but as the wines mature they tend to taste drier and the high acidity creates wonderful balance. The older and especially the tougher vintages show some nutty, almost rancio characters that, as Richard Kelley puts it, are for ‘proper’ Chenin lovers only!’ The great vintages such as 1971 and 2002 have many decades of maturation ahead.

Touchais6It is becoming increasingly rare to find back vintages and this is an excellent opportunity to purchase pre-shipment directly from the Moulin Touchais cellars.These are guidelines from Richard Kelley, a Master of Wine and the world authority on the Loire:The best wines: 2003, 2002, 1997, 1996, 1985, 1984, 1975, 1971
For lovers of ‘proper’ Chenin only: 1994, 1986, 1984, 1980
For drinking now: 1999, 1996, 1985, 1982, 1981
For the cellar: 2003, 2002, 1997, 1996, 1975, 1971

Moulin Touchais wines

To place your order, please email Alternatively, you can call us on 021 448 4105 (CT) or 011 027 9463 (JHB). View delivery charges

Wine Doctor tasting notes:

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 2003: A bigger and bolder style of fruit here, the wine clearly very young and full of lush, opulent fruit character. The fruit has a sweet, slightly high-toned character too. It is very much a wine of the vintage. There is also a faint suggestion of biscuit caramel coming in although it is subtle. The palate is immediately flattering, with that very fine and fat character coming through in the start and midpalate. An opulent and broad style, very concentrated, with honeyed, sugar-rich fruit. Touches of brioche, toast and honey here too. Long and sweet, with a concentrated finish. Very good indeed. 17/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 2002: Sweeter fruit here than the other recent vintages, in a more concentrated and slightly more honeyed style. A more pure and precise character to the fruit on the nose though, the yellow-golden and gently sweet fruit showing a defining, slightly stony backbone and frame, and yet there are also notes of honey, beeswax and gentle minerality. The palate has a firmly mineral style, but good generosity. Supple, grainy, fresh and stylish. Lots of substance coming up from underneath. Good concentration. A fresh and stylish wine with great potential. Typical of the vintage. 17.5/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 2001: Slightly more high-toned in this vintage, with brighter fruit character here, tinged with lemony overtones. Less open and expressive than the 2000 vintage, although there is a slightly denser and more desiccated character to the fruit which I like. The palate is convincing, with confident firm substance to the fruit and a polished texture, as well as a good core of acidity. Attractive, youthful and stylish, with a good balance. 16.5/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 2000: A pretty, honey, grainy, oatmealy character on the nose here. There are some minerally sulphur dioxide scents here as well. The fruit on the nose has a polished character, yellow and freshly sweet, with yellow plum. A fresh and supple style on the palate, showing richness of fruit, gentle yet honeyed. Quite a firm undertow to it, supple, gentle, appealing, with confident grainy fruit. A nice acid backbone. Fairly long. Good, but outclassed by the subsequent trio of vintages. 15.5/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1999: A gentle style on the nose, with a beeswax grain to it, but not in a greatly concentrated fashion. A nice, soft, quite supple character on the palate, slowly unfolding to reveal some concentrated citrus tones and supple weight through the middle of the wine. Light notes of toast. Good acidity to it, not vibrant but giving an attractive if rather gentle edge to the wine. A very typical old-school style sweet Anjou wine, showing a bucolic softness that contrasts with the slightly tauter style seen in 2000 onwards. 16/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1998: This is much more evolved on the nose than the 1999, showing a greater grainy edge to the fruit here. The palate is supple with a creamed-fruit character to it, the style of fruit lightly vegetal and a touch sulphurous though. There is some reduction here perhaps? The palate is sweet, straightforward, not rich in character. Not remarkable, but a decent wine for a lesser vintage though. 15/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1997: A slightly deeper colour here than vintages of comparable age. The nose is also a little different in style to slightly more recent vintages, more forceful in character, with beeswax and a touch of pebbly definition to it. It is very open and easy to understand. There are more botrytis notes here than in some other wines. It seems to offer an appealing substance but also some frame and backbone. The palate is convincing, more deeply textured than expected, with some good botrytis evolution coming through here. Yet it feels harmonious and composed, smoky and lightly mineral. Really vibrant nuances on the finish too. A very good wine. 17.5/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1996: A moderate depth of colour here, and the nose is evolving nicely, with sweetly polished fruits which have a very faint hint of desiccation to them, and a honey-chalky minerality. The palate has a light-footed elegance at the very start, and then it shows a gentle, more relaxed character going through into the middle of the wine. Here it shows good energy and form, with a vibrant grip to it, but perhaps not the sweetness or substance I was expecting for this vintage. An appealing style though, a very good wine albeit in a lighter-than-expected style, and I would have expected more from this vintage. 17/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1995: A hugely different nose here, with some remarkable, evolving, cinder-toffee-caramel nuances, but still all rolled up in a lemony-fresh fruit character. More than a suggestion of mint toffee as well. Very sweet and rich in character, the toffee flavours coming through here on the palate, which despite that minty note has a massively sweet impact. A very different style, interesting although totally unexpected. There are some scented, perfumed edges around all that toffee substance. An unusual combination of greenness and sweetness. 16/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1994: Not a very distinguished nose here, quite clearly matchsticky and with a lot of sulphurous suggestions, with gentle fruit hiding behind. The palate is light and lemony, with a leaner style of fruit and a very bright and acid-tinged midpalate. The acidity seems fairly prominent through into the finish. Displaying the weakness of the vintage, but an attractive effort for the year in question. 14/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1991: The frost vintage; 30% was lost at Moulin Touchais. Not a nose suggesting great concentration here, but it has an appealing if rather light suggestion of cinder toffee sweetness. Again, a paradoxical blend of sweet toffee notes and citrus vigour describe the palate, altogether it holds a gentle appeal. It shows more concentration than the 1994, perhaps also the 1992 tasted alongside, and there is a building, grainy character to it. Some substance and energy here. Rather a clipped finish though, going from sweetness to citrus in seconds. 15/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1986: I find a very cool and restrained nose here, the sweeter botrytis notes wrapped up in a sheen of lemon ice. It has a sort of botrytis-sorbet note to it. It opens out to reveal notes of spiced bread, and a more traditionally evolved character. The palate has a lovely presence of clean-lined and gently botrytised fruit, still looking very youthful, and just showing some evolving sweet, grainy, honeycomb notes. This gets more interesting with each subsequent taste. There is good energy and flavour in the finish too, where it appears long and possesses a sharp brightness. Another wine with a long future ahead of it. 17/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1985: There is a very relaxed sweetness here, with some suggestions of honey on buttered toast, although it is the toast and butter that is more prominent than the honey, with suggestions of ginger and toasty nuts notes in tandem with this. There is a touch of apple spirit here too. I also find a little seam of high-toned volatility to it, hiding behind the other aromas. Great substance on the palate, rather fat and more ponderous than the 1986 and 1988 tasted alongside. This is a more corpulent wine, although with a nice smoky energy coming in. Lots of botrytis here, cut through with a fine energy towards the end. Very big and impressive. Another long ager here. 17/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1984: There is not such a rich hue compared to other wines of comparable age poured alongside, although there is an attractive golden colour here. The sweetness on the nose has a brown-sugar quality. The palate is light and attractive, the acidity slightly sour and defining, dominating the gentle but impressive (for the vintage) texture. I find a slightly sour character in the finish as well. The 1984 vintage was a very difficult one; this is a decent effort really. 14.5/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1979: Very clean, light, lemon toffee notes here on the nose. There are also, as it opens up, caramel biscuit nuances, with faint orange scents, all suggestive of some role for botrytis here. It is clean but restrained. The palate shows a similarly clean character at first, before showing a light substance through the middle, less impressive than hoped for. The finish is rather subdued, and gently fades. This is attractive and it will probably keep going for decades, although whether or not it will ever thrill is another question. 16/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1975: I find a stony-bright character to the fruit here. This seems at first to be going back to the very old-school style, with a brown-sugar sweetness on the nose, over some lightly high-toned orange fruit. There is a very fat but lightly detached feel to it in the palate, in keeping with this old-school style, although the acidity is not. There is a firm acid cut here, calling to mid limes rubbed over crumbly rocks. I think although the fruit sweetness has a slightly obvious character the substance of the wine is very admirable, and the acidity that comes through underneath is vibrant and fairly exciting. Overall, this is really delicious. 17.5/20 (September 2012)

Moulin Touchais (Coteaux du Layon) 1971: A rather lean-toffee character here, with a very faint sour-apple note in the background. Seems to have a subtle vein of oxidation running through the back of this wine. The palate shows this as well, but the fruit substance, texture and flavour is so impressive that it covers up this minor complaint. The character of the wine is savoury and yet sweetly rich, full of botrytis, with a challenging, vibrant, exciting end to it. The finish is long and energy-charged as well. A very interesting wine. 17.5/20 (September 2012)


New arrival: Vin de Constance 2009

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