I wonder if you’ve ever been lucky enough to wander the banks of the Loire. France’s longest river is cradled on each side by breath taking scenery, historic châteaux sheltered by majestic forests. Some of these properties are surrounded by vines, and these stretch from Nantes to Sancerre.
Picture a journey along the river, maybe by bike, maybe by boat. The Loire carries the imprint of a historic tradition, this much is clear even just by glancing at the châteaux that litter the landscape. Solidly established in French viticulture, this region is now an unmissable one for any lover of fine wine. It’s also an especially dynamic region – a bit of a trend-setter, a large part of its more recent success has been thanks to advancements in organic, biodynamic and natural wines. Our current sale has cuvées from over 75 domains, so here are a few pointers to get you started.
There are quite a few of the region’s stars making an appearance in this sale. A large selection from the famous Domaine des Roches Neuves which produces superb Saumur and Saumur-Champigny cuvées: in white, there’s Clos Romans from 2015, 2017 and 2018, and for the reds, try a 2016 or 2018 La Marginale. Coulée de Serrant is known for its biodynamic production, and here we have the 2017 and 2018 Vieux Clos as well as the 2017 Clos de la Bergerie. It was with Nicolas Joly that Jacky Blot learnt all there is to know before founding Domaine Taille aux Loups, and this is where the fabulous Romulus cuvée is made. Clos Rougeard is also here to brighten your day, this time with some precious bottles of 2009 Brézé and the Le Bourg cuvée in its exceptional 2005 and 2010 vintages. From Vouvray, there are some treasures from Clos Naudin and Domaine Huet, and last but not least are some sumptuous Sancerre from François Cotat.
No need to break the bank!
The Loire has managed to maintain its capacity for offering new discoveries at very attractive prices. The domains that fall under this banner are many, but why not start with Lucien Crochet or Pierre Luneau-Papin in Muscadet? Some of the domains following biodynamic methods have not yet had their day in the sun, though they very much deserve it! For example, have you heard of Grange Tiphaine? This is a family property with 15 hectares spread out over Montlouis-sur-Loire, Touraine and Touraine-Amboise, and we recommend their Clé de Sol cuvée, a wine with fruity and floral aromas, perfect to serve with fish. Domaine Vincent Carême grows his Chenin organically and we have his dessert wine Première Trie in the 2015 vintage. Bonnet-Huteau from Muscadet also deserves a mention, along with Xavier Amirault, whose Cabernet-Franc is particularly fresh and crisp.