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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. Domaine du Salvard Unique Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Domaine du Salvard Unique Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Previously labelled 'Unique' Sauvignon Blanc. With a new name and spanking new label designed by the talented French-based artist Louise Sheeran, the package here now reflects the quality of the wine inside. Cropped from mature vines rooted in the sandy clay soils of Cheverny's Fougères sur Bièvre, Blanc de Salvard is 100% Sauvignon Blanc raised on lees without any oak. The Delaille brothers' 2020 is another succulent and vibrant white, packed with aromas and flavours of pithy citrus, and shot through with smoky, resinous freshness and mouth-watering acidity. Classic Vin de Soif Loire.
    2020
    sauvignon Blanc
    France
    422
  2. Damien Pinon Tuffo Vouvray Sec 2018
    Damien Pinon Tuffo Vouvray Sec 2018

    Damien Pinon is the third generation of his family to naturally farm Chenin Blanc in the chalky soils of Vernou-sur-Brenne in the appellation of Vouvray. His vines are old, creating lush, expressive white wines.

    The Tuffo cuvee is intensely aromatic and loaded with flavors of quince and apple. It has a wonderful complexity to it, hitting at first with burst of fresh fruit and finishing with a vibrant minerality. This beauty is incredibly food friendly, a great compliment for everything from roasted chicken, to fish in rich sauces to grilled sausages. PWS

    2018
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  3. Bernard Baudry Rose Chinon 2020
    Bernard Baudry Rose Chinon 2020
    Organic. 100% Cabernet Franc. Baudry’s irresistible rosé is drawn from vines rooted in the gravel terroir of Grézeaux and a parcel called Les Balais, which was originally planted by Matthieu’s father some 30 years ago. In contrast to Grézeaux, Les Balais is on clay and flint (silex) soils. The 2020 was picked by hand, there was brief skin contact and then the wine fermented (almost to dryness) via indigenous yeasts—two-thirds in Italian-made concrete tanks and the remainder in stainless steel.
     
    Extremely low yields have resulted in a textured yet delicate wine redolent of just-picked nectarines, wild strawberries and mountain herbs, supported by a vein of blood orange or Campari-like bitterness at the end. It’s fragrant, super-crisp and dry with a backbone of crunchy acidity.
    2020
    Cabernet Franc
    France
    422
  4. Baumard Coteaux de Layon Carte D'or 2015
    Baumard Coteaux de Layon Carte D'or 2015
    This wine, his Carte d'Or is a blend of sites which he thoughtfully keeps fresh by not burdening it with too much sugar (its sweetness is balanced with a zesty line of acidity). It's a delightful and lively rendition that will age well or give pleasure right now.

    'The palate shows a very appealing concentration, with white peach, white pear flesh, a delightfully match-sticky freshness and also a beautifully bright acidity…this has very nice fruit and tension, but also a delicious minerally frame for it all. Very good indeed.' thewinedoctor.com
    2015
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  5. Pierre Menard Clos de Mailles Anjou Blanc 2017
    Pierre Menard Clos de Mailles Anjou Blanc 2017

    After studying wine in the Agronomic school of Angers, Pierre travelled the world to learn about the different processes and made wine in Canada, New Zealand and Hungary. Only in his late twenties, Pierre started to produce wine in the Layon in 2013. Since his first vintage Pierre's wines have been met with critical acclaim.

    The Clos des Mailles comes from three parcels in the vineyard; one is 25 years old, one 100 years, and the other 8 years. You won't find any botrytis character here. As Pierre works very hard to exclude this from his wines, wanting the purity of the vineyard to be at the forefront. In the same vein, it has been vinified using 80% old French oak and 20% stainless steel. This results in a beautifully mineral wine with layered complexity. Yellow plum, flint, smoky/schisty, and ripe peach all play together with great acidity and minerality. Purity, structure, a lengthy finish, and utter deliciousness, Pierre's Clos des Mailles is an experience we all deserve this year. BRIAN

    2011
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  6. Huet Petillant Brut 2015
    Huet Petillant Brut 2015
    The 2015 Vouvray Pétillant Brut displays an intense yellow color and opens with a deep and rich bouquet of perfectly ripe and juicy yellow fruits intertwined with rich brioche and vanilla as well as chalky aromas. Much fruitier than any Champagne. Full-bodied and rich yet bone dry and fresh, this is nevertheless a pure and refreshing sparkling wine that should be served for lunch or dinner rather than as an aperitif. Tightly structured, long and energetic. 12.5% alcohol. STEPHAN REINHARDT, wineadvocate.com
    2015
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  7. Gerard Boulay 'Tradition' Sancerre Chavignol 2019
    Gerard Boulay 'Tradition' Sancerre Chavignol 2019
    A blend of Chavignol sites, most of the fruit comes from 35-40yo vines lower down the slopes of the sites - and also younger vines from the revered La Grand Cote.

    Boulay's only blended wine, this shows the many facets and brilliance of Chavignol. There's a beautiful density and presence to the wine centred around flavours of wet earth and citrus fruits. A tightly coiled palate emerges and expands with a little air, finishing off with a crushed rocked mouth-watering finish. GABRIELLE POY, PWS
    2019
    sauvignon Blanc
    France
    422
  8. Pierre Bise Savennieres Roche Aux Moines 2016
    Pierre Bise Savennieres Roche Aux Moines 2016

    The Domaine of Pierre-Bise is a Loire legend. Based in Anjou, they make wines of 'shatteringly singularity', both dry and sweet chenin blanc.  We've managed to get our hands on a small parcel of one of their flagship dry whites, Roche aux Moines Savennieres.  This chenin is simply breathtaking in its purity and freshness.

    Claude Papin has been the figurehead of the estate, and in more recent years his sons Christophe and René Papin largely run the show. They're experimenting with new approaches including organic certification. Loire aficionado Chris Kissack sums it up nicely 'in recent years the style has become more honed, more pointed, with greater purity and brighter minerality, and the quality remains very high.'

    Roche aux Moines is a revered site, one of the best in Anjou. It is one of the two crus of Savennieres (the other is La Coulee de Serrant made famous by Nicolas Joly). These two crus lie on the right side of the Loire. Roche aux Moines means 'rocks of the monks' alluding to the fact the vineyard this rocky vineyard was planted by Cistercian monks in the 12th century. Its rocky outcrop on volcanic schist soils imbues a savoury salinity and fine chewy texture in the wines.


    The Chenin from Roche Aux Moines have so much charm, as this bottling attests to. The nose is warm and cozy, full of honeysuckle, dried herb, and wool. The palate is beautiful, with an elegant, silky, balance of apricot, smoke, salt and a touch of honey. So open and friendly, and an excellent introduction to Roche Aux Moines. Aged mainly in foudre. JASON WILSON, vinous.com

    2014
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  9. Francois Chidaine Clos Du Breuil Montlouis 2019
    Francois Chidaine Clos Du Breuil Montlouis 2019

    Chidaine's Clos du Breuil is a Montlouis treasure: a single, three-hectare site, sloping towards the Loire and home to some of Chidaine's oldest vines (up to 90 years old). Just across from Clos Habert, Clos de Breuil rests on one of the highest points in the appellation.

    The bouquet is precise, crystalline and deep, pairing lemony, tropical fruit and chalky aromas with flint stone, iodine and red paprika or pimiento notes. The palate is seamless, crystalline, fresh, very elegant and salty-piquant, almost like a limestone Riesling, with ripe pear flavors, fine tannins and a long and dense, if not juicy finish. The acidity is remarkably fine, and the wine indicates great aging potential, even though it is already an excellent Chenin that could be served even as aperitif (despite its 14% alcohol). STEPHAN REINHARDT, wineadvocate.com

    2019
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  10. Francois Chidaine Clos Habert 2019
    Francois Chidaine Clos Habert 2019
    This Domaine has a number of cuvées that often fall into what would traditionally be called demi-sec territory. However, Chidaine prefers to call these wines tendre, or 'gently dry'. This three-hectare clos sits just above the Clos de Breuil, on a plateau where the silex (flint) gives way to broken chalk and clay.
    From a soil composed of clay and coarse flint elements covering the subsoil made up of tuff, the 2019 Montlouis sur Loire Clos Habert opens with a very fine and delicate bouquet of finely concentrated yellow-fleshed fruit aromas along with herbal and flinty notes. Round and intense, with perfectly ripe fruit, fine tannins and delicate acidity, this is a sustainably intense and salty Chenin that is far too young to be served today but will age for some decades. STEPHAN REINHARDT, wineadvocate.com
    2019
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  11. Francois Chidaine Les Choisilles Montlouis 2019
    Francois Chidaine Les Choisilles Montlouis 2019

    Les Choisilles is named after a type of black flint of the same name, abundant in the old vine parcels that gift this wine where the bedrock is tuffeau. The vines range in age between 30 to 90 years. This is a wonderfully racy, mineral dry Chenin of intensity and drive.

    Chidaine's 2019 Montlouis sur Loire Les Choisilles is deep, pure, fresh and refined on the nose but still very young, with lemon leaf, chalk and sur lie aromas. On the palate, this is a rich and concentrated Chenin, but it reveals remarkable freshness and energy. It is a bit unfair to compare it to the 2018, which has a year more of development, but I have to, and I am still amused by the 2019, which lifts Les Choisilles to unknown heights. The salinity and mineral grip are really beautiful here in the finish, and I believe the wine can age for two decades. Highly attractive pineapple flavors on the aftertaste. STEPHAN REINHARDT, wineadvocate.com

    2019
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  12. Huet Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Demi-Sec 2020
    Huet Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Demi-Sec 2020
    The 2020 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Demi-Sec is clear, pure, subtle, deep and fresh, with highly refined chalky/sandy lemon aromas. Rich and intense yet silky textured and refined on the concentrated palate, this is a juicy, highly elegant, perfectly balanced, persistently salty and mouth-salivating Haut-Lieu with very fine tannins and a long, firm and pretty powerful but elegant and complex finish. Still more stringent than the Le Mont Demi-Sec in the beginning, but after aeration, this is not just a greatly finessed Chenin but one of the finest Haut-Lieu's I have tasted from Huet. STEPHAN REINHARDT, wineadvocate.com
    2020
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  13. Philippe Foreau Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux 2017
    Philippe Foreau Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux 2017

    Founded in 1923, Philippe Foreau's Domaine du Clos Naudin has remained a small and prized estate within Vouvray - it's less than 1/3 size of its friend and neighbour Domaine Huet. Today Vincent Foreau is in charge, taking over from his dad, the charismatic Phillip Foreau in 2016.

    This is far from a globby sweet rendition, its nose is evocative and stunning. Wine critic Jason Wilson describes it as 'lots of ripe apple, even Calvados-like notes, autumnal, fallen leaves, cinnamon and mulled spices.' It's an intriguing mix of sweet spices, earth and fruit. And then on the palate a beautifully judged sweet core of ripe fruits is electrified by a scintillating bolt of acidity.

    This cuvée, built on fruit concentrated by passerillage rather than botrytis, always registers a modest (for a moelleux cuvée) residual sugar, coming in at 60 g/l in this vintage. It feels mildly reticent, with some minerally citrus veins to the fore on the nose. This is countered by a charming and supple substance on the palate, filled with polished citrus fruits, white peach and peach stone, with a touch of quince. It feels so very elegant, tense and bright, with fabulous acidity. So long and correct in the finish. CHRIS KISSACK, winedoctor.com
    2017
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  14. Francois Chidaine Clos Baudoin Vouvray 2019
    Francois Chidaine Clos Baudoin Vouvray 2019

    Since purchasing the Clos in 2001, Chidaine has elevated Clos Baudoin to one of the few 'Grand Cru' Vouvray vineyards. Sitting on the crest of a hill the Clos Baudoin vineyard is 2.7 hectares in size with an average vine age of over 70 years. The soils are clay and limestone, with a deep tuffeau subsoil.

    Bright, intensely aromatic yet refined and with delicate yellow-fleshed fruit aromas on the limestone-grounded nose, this is a delicate, pure and fresh, highly tensioned but also lush and perfectly balanced and juicy Chenin Blanc with fine tannin grip, sustainable salinity and remarkable finesse. This is too young to be served today, but this is a highly promising Chenin with the concentration that a wine needs for long aging capacity. STEPHAN REINHARDT, wineadvocate.com

    2019
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  15. François Chidaine Les Bournais Montlouis 2019
    François Chidaine Les Bournais Montlouis 2019
    The 2019 Montlouis sur Loire Les Bournais displays a golden-yellow color and a dense, well-concentrated and aromatic bouquet with tropical fruit aromas and, currently, still prominent lactic notes with straw aromas that intertwine with delicate flinty and earthy notes. Intense, tight and salty on the palate, this is a serious as well as tannic Chenin that reveals remarkable finesse and length. Still young but with excellent aging potential. STEPHAN REINHARDT, wineadvocate.com
    2019
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  16. Huet Vouvray Le Mont Sec 2020
    Huet Vouvray Le Mont Sec 2020
    The only dry wine from the vintage is the 2020 Vouvray Le Mont Sec, whose tank sample shows a classy, pure, precise and chalky/lemony bouquet with bright and perfectly healthy fruit and some herbal as well as yeasty aromas. On the palate, this is a dense, fabulously juicy, fruity and elegant Chenin whose immediate attraction and pure finesse initially reminds me of Riesling, whereas the texture is too rich and the salty and finely tannic finish too intense and powerful for Riesling. With more aeration, the Le Mont gets more and more intense and complex but also, tannic-wise, more wild. The 2020 has great tension, energy and grip and is highly promising. STEPHAN REINHARDT, wineadvocate.com
    2020
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  17. Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Moelleux 2018
    Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Moelleux 2018
    The 2018 Vouvray Clos du Bourg Moelleux is ripe and already quite open on the remarkably fine and precise nose where delicate chalky notes intermix with yeasty aromas of ripe apples and even very fine flinty hints. On the palate, this is a sweet, lush, salty-piquant and refined but tightly woven Chenin with structure, remarkable finesse, tickling salinity and serious but fine tannins, as if it was a Pinot Noir. Filigreed and feminine on the tongue, the 2018 develops a long, tensioned, tightly woven and stimulatingly salty finish. Great class and aging potential. STEPHAN REINHARDT, Wine Advocate
    2018
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  18. Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux 2009
    Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux 2009

    The golden-yellow 2009 Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux has a fascinating subtle and aromatic bouquet of perfectly ripe and gently stewed fruits intertwined with biscuit, confiture and caramel notes, as well as lemony flinty aromas. Smooth, round and very elegant, with great finesse and balance, this is a very piquant and salty moelleux with a persistent and aromatic, yet purely mineral and tension-filled finish. The 2009 is very stimulating also due to the delicate yet firm tannins. This is an age-worthy Chenin that is only slowly starting to unfold its charms. STEPHAN REINHARDT, The Wine Advocate

    "Residual sugar 56.5 g/l, alcohol 12.6%, total acidity 5.14 g/l. A lovely nose here, deeper and more reserved than the Haut Lieu, although still fresh, youthful and floral. On the palate a very bright character, substantial and fleshy, with a wonderfully floral composition. A very fine effort at this level. CHRIS KISSACK, The Wine Doctor

    2009
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
  19. Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Sec 2005
    Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Sec 2005

    The 2005 Vouvray Sec Le Haut Lieu smells positively mineral and carnal in its meld of ocean breeze, chicken stock, and snuffed candle wick, but neither does it stint on floral dimensions. With brothy richness, ample quince fruit, and pistachio nuttiness on the palate, the wine also displays positively gripping brightness of ripe acidity and tactile apple skin, grapefruit zest, and chalk dust, leading to a long, subtly nipping, tingling finish. DAVID SCHILDKNECHT, Wine Advocate

    A very similar hue here, pale star-gold, still looking youthful. It has a very expressive nose, being full of the polished citrus and richer orchard fruit tones of youth, but also with a very harmonious integration giving it a slick, seamless, face-cream character. This has beautifully creamed fruit intensity, and yet it remains bright, fresh and acidic. The palate is finely composed, polished, with good substance and grip, and plentiful fruit at first. At the finish it begins to segue into a little honeyed, biscuity and exotic fruit, so there is ongoing development here. CHRIS KISSACK, The Wine Doctor

    2005
    Chenin Blanc
    France
    422
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