We head to the Loire, to learn more about which bottles had wine lovers’ hearts racing this semester. Featuring: renowned domains, great vintages and new methods of vinification.
The Loire Valley is brimming with gems, and the share of bottles from the region sold on our platform is on the rise. The 5,000 bottles sold on iDealwine during the first half of 2019 represent 6% of volumes exchanged, up on the previous year. In terms of value however, the Loire represents a mere 3% of sales, highlighting the attractive prices in this region. As with all of our rankings, we’ve taken into account the most expensive cuvée from each domain, converting its price to that of a 75cl bottle, to facilitate comparison.
Top 5 Loire wines at auction
|#||Highest-priced bottles||Price (inc. VAT) per 75cl bottle|
|1||1 bottle of Pouilly Fumé Astéroïde Dagueneau 2010||€ 894|
|2||1 bottle of Vouvray Goutte d’Or Clos Naudin – Philippe Foreau 1990||€ 584|
|3||1 magnum of Saumur-Champigny Clos Rougeard Les Poyeux Clos Rougeard 1995||€ 517|
|4||1 bottle of Sancerre Clos la Neore Edmond Vatan 2007||€ 280|
|5||1 bottle of Chinon Clos de La Dioterie Charles Joguet 1990||€ 243|
A ranking that confirms trends
This region offers an unparalleled variety of styles. Sancerre is the darling appellation, representing 7 of our top 20 bottles. However, if we look at the proportion of grape varieties used on the whole, Chenin accounts for 60% of the bottles in our list with only 35% Sauvignon. There’s no clear winner to this match, especially since there are illustrious interpretations of both grapes. The Loire also offers great choice in terms of wine colour: whites of course (55%), a remarkable output of sweet and dessert wines (20%), not forgetting outstanding Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noire wines (25%). These wines all amply reward long aging, something we were reminded during our tasting at Domaine de la Taille aux Loups.
Stars of the region at the top
Our top trio illustrates what iDealwine does best: source extraordinarily rare bottles in great vintages. Dagueneau’s Puilly-Fumé Astéroïde 2010 sits in the top position of our list, sold at €894. With its microscopic output – around 600 bottles – this wine is characterised by its power, purity, minerality, aromas of citrus fruits and smoky notes. In second position, Philippe Foreau’s exceptional Vouvray Goutte d’Or 1990 (€584). Produced only in four vintages (1947, 1990, 2011, 2015), this sweet wine has the rare quality of offering aromas of white fruits and quince, a delicious sweetness all balanced by freshness on the palate. These two icons of the Loire have brought the region out of the shadows, making it a must-have in the minds of wine lovers. The crowning jewel of the region, however, is undeniably Clos Rougeard in Saumur-Champigny. Since is highly mediatized purchase by the Bouygues family, the domain has shot to worldwide fame. Its vines are known for never, ever, having been treated with a chemical product; the wines are matured for years in the domain’s cellars before being released for sale. Their output is now sought after throughout the world. Clos Rougeard sits in third place of our ranking.
The rest of the palmarès is just as quality-driven, with, interestingly, the Sancerre Clos la Néore 2017 from Domaine Edmond Vatan, from a microscopic production, sold for €280. The collectable vintage 1990 also features, with the Chinon Clos de la Dioterie from Charles Joguet selling at €243.
Biodynamics and natural winemaking
Wine enthusiasts are proving ever more receptive to environmentally friendly methods of viticulture. In our top 20, unsurprisingly, many of biodynamics’ big names appear: Nicolas Joly, one of the most ardent defenders of the philosophy, is in 16th place, with a magnum of Savennières from Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, the domain’s monopole, sold for €207 in the 2010 vintage (or €104 for 75cl). Other proponents include Huet (7th) and Alphonse Mellot (13th).
Natural wines are also increasingly popular, and the Loire has become a veritable hub for winemakers wanting to do things differently. Stéphane Bernaudeau’s Les Nourrissons is therefore in 8th position, Richard Leroy’s Les Noëls de Montbenault in 10th. Both domains decided to label their wines as vin de France to gain freedom from the constraints of appellations. They’re not the only ones: in early July 2019, Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau, owner of the eponymous domain since the death of his father Didier, announced that he had decided to quit the Pouilly-Fumé appellation. Stéphane Cossais’ Montlouis Le Volagré (11th) has AOC labelling while also being part of the natural wine movement.
See our auction rankings for other regions:
Top 20 Loire wines at auction
|#||Highest-priced bottle||Price (inc. VAT) per 75cl bottle||Buying country||Buyer profile|
|1||1 bottle of Pouilly Fumé Astéroïde Dagueneau 2010||894 €||France||Private|
|2||1 bottle of Vouvray Goutte d’Or Clos Naudin – Philippe Foreau 1990||584 €||Finland||Private|
|3||1 magnum of Saumur-Champigny Clos Rougeard Les Poyeux Clos Rougeard 1995||517 €||France||Trade|
|4||1 bottle of Sancerre Clos la Neore Edmond Vatan 2007||280 €||Hong Kong||Private|
|5||1 bottle of Chinon Clos de La Dioterie Charles Joguet 1990||243 €||Finland||Private|
|6||1 bottle of Sancerre La Grande Cote Paul Cotat 1989||213 €||Finland||Private|
|7||2 bottles of Vouvray Cuvée Constance Huet 1989||207 €||Portugal||Private|
|8||1 bottle of Vin de France Les Nourrissons Stéphane Bernaudeau 2012||207 €||Hong Kong||Trade|
|9||1 bottle of Coteaux du Layon Moulins Touchais 1949||170 €||Japan||Private|
|10||1 bottle of Vin de France Les Noëls de Montbenault Richard Leroy 2012||158 €||Hong Kong||Private|
|11||1 bottle of Montlouis Le Volagré Stéphane Cossais 2008||134 €||France||Private|
|12||3 bottles of Coteaux du Layon Ambroisie Saint Lambert Domaine Jo Pithon 1997||128 €||France||Trade|
|13||1 magnum of Sancerre En Grands Champs Alphonse Mellot 2005||116 €||Hong Kong||Private|
|14||1 bottle of Saumur La Charpentrie Collier 2009||114 €||Hong Kong||Private|
|15||1 magnum of Savennières Clos de la Coulée de Serrant Vignobles de la Coulée de Serrant – Nicolas Joly 2010||104 €||Hong Kong||Private|
|16||1 magnum of Sancerre La Grande Côte François Cotat 2005||94 €||Spain||Trade|
|17||3 bottles of Vin de Table Les Vieilles Vignes des Blanderies Ferme de la Sansonnière 2011||93 €||France||Private|
|18||1 magnum of Sancerre La Comtesse Gérard Boulay 2010||81 €||France||Private|
|19||1 magnum of Saumur Brézé Guiberteau 2009||73 €||France||Private|