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Loire Valley

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Loire valley



Within France, the Loire Valley region produces the greatest diversity of wine styles. The array of wines made reflects the different sub-regions that share little in common due to the region's sweeping expanse. It's an exciting mesh of sparkling, dry, sweet, rose and reds styles.

Known as the 'Garden of France' the Loire Valley is a prolific food bowl producing delectable treats across cheese, cherries, apples, butter and vegetables. Covering 1000km from east to west, this picturesque region is a feast for both your eyes and tastebuds.

Grapes
White: Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet), Sauvignon Blanc
Red: Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Grolleau

Styles
The Muscadets of the Nantais are influenced by the maritime climate. These wines are subtly textured, freshly fruited and best drunk young with some oysters. Anjou is where Chenin Blanc shines in various styles - sparkling, dry and sweet. Touraine is home to the tuffeau soils which Chenin blanc loves in Vouvray, and we see some red wines here too. Lastly, in the Central Vineyards where the soils are similar to Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc is the cross-bearer producing some exhilarating wines in Sancerre and Pouilly Fume.

Favourite Producers
Pepiere, Baumard, Pierre Bise, Roches Neuves, Huet, Francois Chidaine, Didier Dageneau, Vacheron, Gerard Boulay,


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  1. Thibaud Boudignon Rose de Loire 2018
    Thibaud Boudignon Rose de Loire 2018
    Substantially Cabernet Franc, with some Grolleau and a little Gamay, from 38 year-old vines, grown on shallow soils of grey schist, rhyolite and sand. Cool-fermented in stainless steel with native yeasts for 2-3 weeks, followed by maturation in tank for 4 to 6 months before bottling. Malolactic conversion is inhibited to produce a fresh, vibrant, yet textural rosé, with good length and intriguing mineral complexity. V&V
    2018
    Cabernet Franc
    France
    423
  2. Frederic Mabileau Sans Les Mains 2015
    Frederic Mabileau Sans Les Mains 2015
    This is described as Nathalie's coup de coeur, a juicy, slurpable red made from the rare Loire red grape Pineau d'Aunis. Hand harvested grapes are destemmed and sorted on a table before fermentation in a concrete egg. All up it's on skins for 10 days before spending 10 months in a 16-hectolitre concrete egg. The name 'Sans Les Mains' refers the fact that it's so easy to drink; you could lap it up with no hands.
    2015
    France
    423
  3. Noella Morantin Les Pichiaux 2017
    Noella Morantin Les Pichiaux 2017

    Sauvignon blanc, Touraine, Loire Valley. Always interesting wines from this producer, often a little left of centre, very expressive, usually very exciting to drink.

    Lemon balm, sea spray, faint cashew nut notes and a lift of faint fino sherry or similar. Very lovely perfume. Crystal clear and refreshing, saline lilt through juicy and concentrated lemon flavours, good length, cool, minerally-salty finish. Very excellent expression, full of vivacity and deliciousness.
    (93) THE WINE FRONT

    2017
    sauvignon Blanc
    France
    423
  4. Thierry Germain Roches Neuves Saumur Champigny Marginale 2019
    Thierry Germain Roches Neuves Saumur Champigny Marginale 2019
    Whereas Terres Chaudes is limestone, this cuvée comes from clay, the soils five metres deep, the limestone beneath buried well. Again I am taken by the fresh character in what was a warm vintage, with dark and fragrant fruits especially damsons, peonies, violets and pencil shavings. This leads to a delightfully elegant poise on the palate, a medium-bodied presence but with a firm central core of tannic grip and fresh acidity too. It feels structured, firm, poised and upright, with great restraint running into a long grip of ripe tannins. This has excellent potential. CHRIS KISSACK, The Wine Doctor
    2019
    Cabernet Franc
    France
    423
  5. Thierry Germain Roches Neuves Clos Romans Blanc Saumur 2019
    Thierry Germain Roches Neuves Clos Romans Blanc Saumur 2019
    The Chenin Blanc vines of Clos Romans are rooted in the walled enclave of a priory dating back to the 11th century. The soil consists of a 30cm layer of sandy clay over Senonian-era limestone bedrock called Pierres de Champigny, the same rock that was used to build Château Champigny. Planted atop a ridge in Parnay, just outside Saumur, the vine roots burrow down through the limestone, towards the famous troglodyte dwellings below. Germain acquired this historic site in 2007 and has been steadily replanting at a density of 12,000 vines per hectare. He practices massale selection, mixing plants to ensure he doesn't get a mono-dimensional profile of this terroir.
     
    Undoubtedly the top cuvée at the domaine, arguably regardless of colour, this comes from a small clos planted close to the edge of the plateau, on Senonian limestone. The nose is expressive, pure and lightly salty and minerally, with smoky citrus and white peach fruits. The palate is no less harmonious than the nose, very composed, with a soft blanket of white peach and citrus fruits draped over a structure of pithy phenolic substance and fresh acidity. This is perfectly poised, showing great composition, total harmony, fresh, pure and precise. This has superb potential (and not for the first time). CHRIS KISSACK, The Wine Doctor
    2019
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    423
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