The much lauded but sometimes over looked area of the Loire Valley is our ‘raison d’être’ this month! Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone valley, are more often than not familiar French wine regions that poeple know & love and the Loire valley is sometimes an after thought. So this month we are trying to rectify this, and as the Spring sunshine warms our cockles it’s a perfect time to embrace those Racey Sauvignons.
From the Nantais region in the far west, the home of the Melon de Bourgogne grape – Muscadet! Green crisp appley notes with a little prickle from spending time on the fine lees (dead yeast enzymes). Domaine de la Chauveniere £8.95, moving eastwards with less maritime influence, the wines from Saumur & Vouvray are home to Chenin blanc. This grape variety has a range styles that puts other grapes to shame, from bone dry (sec) to off-dry (demi-sec) to sweetness (Molleaux), to intensley sweet (doux) and they even find time to make some excellent Sparkling wines! Clos de Nouys Vouvray Sec £12.95 and Le Cabriole Saumur Blanc £9.95.
Both these wines have more rounded, richer, oily on the palate with honeysuckle notes. Head further east and you arrive in Touraine, where Sauvignon becomes the grape of choice and you can get great value and quality wines from this appelletion, Guy Allion Touraine, Joel Delaunay Touraine (see our wine of the month) at £10.95 respectively. Finally you arrive at the Central vineyards home to the well known appellations of Sancerre & Pouilly Fumé and less known, but now equally good, Quincy & Menetou-Salon. This is where Sauvignon thrives, with limestone, chalky and flinty soils, and wonderful south-east facing rolling hills. This is not your prounced flowery-elderflower cordial notes of Sauvignons from Marlborough, New Zealand, but citrus, cut grass herbaceous notes, with lingering minerality that make your senses over load. Vacheron Sancerre (Red, White and Rosé available), Chateau Favray Pouilly Fumé £13.50, Henri Bourgeois Petit Bourgeois Sauvignon £10.95, Henry Pelle Mentou Salon Morongues and Les Silex…
With so many great wine producers in one region it’s a wealth of great wines that we applaud. Please check our selection of Loire wines, some of which are on SPECIAL OFFER this month and do please get in touch if you’d like any more information about our suppliers and their wines.