There is a real magic in the wines of the Loire. This winegrowing region runs the length of the river, with a veritable palette of terroirs, climates, and varietals that make for infinite expressions in the wine produced. Seizing the opportunities offered by a land rich in potential, younger wine makers have been drawn to the Loire as a place to let their creativity run wild. This region is a natural place of discovery to quench our thirst for originality, authenticity, and variety.
Stars of the Loire
The history of winegrowing in the Loire dates back centuries, and this is a history that has been built by the longstanding work and dedication of some truly beautiful domains, many of them being passed down from generation to generation of the same family. From Pouilly-Fumé, you’ll find the 2006 Buisson-Renard cuvée by Didier Dagueneau. This is a rare bottle, since Didier passed away in 2008, leaving the domain in his son’s hands. Close by, in Sancerre, the Mellot family crafts marvels with their biodynamic Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes. We have their delicate red Sancerre Génération XIX in its 2010 vintage to prove it. If you’re looking for a more corpulent wine with a good aging potential, the iconic Clos Rougeard’s Saumur-Champigny Les Poyeux is available in the same excellent vintage. As for fans of Chenin, you’ll find your favourite in Vouvray at Clos Naudin, Philippe Foreau’s domain. Delicious, mature wines like the 1989 and 1990 Moelleux Réserve are ready to be uncorked and enjoyed.
A region that keeps on climbing
Currently very much on the up, the Loire is an incredible place for young wine growers to come and launch their innovative ventures. These are the stars of the future, and we have made it our work at iDealwine to spot them and point them out for you. In Anjou, Domaine Belargus has just joined our network, a breath-taking mosaic of terroirs across the prestigious appellations of Savennières, Côteaux-du-Layon, and Quarts-de-Chaume. These wines are made to be aged. From Saumur, you’ll find Arnaud Lambert who managed to work his way – after just 15 years! – into Bettane + Desseauve’s top 100 producers of 2019. Next to Sancerre we find Menetou-Salon, an area that shines with the brilliance of Henry Pellé, a domain that was founded in 1959 but that has seen renewed success thanks to the development of responsible agriculture and controlled yields.
Natural wine country
The Loire is a real hotbed for wines made following responsible, sustainable, organic, and even biodynamic methods, with much of the fruit vinified as naturally as possible. This awareness has been raised by emblematic figures like Catherine and Pierre Breton whose juicy Cabernet Franc cuvées are classed in the appellations of Bourgeuil (2017 Clos Sénéchal, 2019 Trinch) and Chinon (2018 Beaux Monts, 2002 Les Picasses). But new names are emerging, too. Romain Paire in Auvergne offers, via his Domaine des Pothiers, some simple, flavourful and natural Côte-Roannaise cuvées such as the 2019 Clos-du-Puy. In the Sarthe region, the biodynamic Bellivière draws our attention to the potential of lesser known appellations like Coteau-du-Loir and Jasnières. We recommend the red Rouge Gorge cuvée as well as the 2004 Coteaux-du-Loir vieilles vignes Eparses.
Wines for all occasions
Due to its northern location, the Loire valley mainly produces wine that is lively, energetic, and juicy. Just as good at the table as they are for an aperitif, these cuvées invite a great variety of food pairings. If you’re looking for a chiselled wine that can be enjoyed on its own or with a simple dish, look to the Muscadet-Sèvres-et-Maine appellation, here represented by Jérôme Brétaudeau from Domaine de Bellevue, or to Pouilly-Fumé with a cuvée from Domaine Les Poëtes. For a real gastronomic wine, the Saumur-Champigny reds such as those by Roches Neuves and Antoine Sauzay Chinons by Philippe Alliet, or the cuvées from Terres de l’Elu will fit the bill. If your meal involves freshwater fish or regional poultry, the Sancerre whites by Gérard Boulay and Nicolas Joly will pair really well.