Three lovely - and affordable - Loire reds

I’ve always had a soft spot for Loire reds. They can be a little lean and challenging at times, but I quite like my wines a bit lean, when I’m in certain moods. These three are delicious, and comparative bargains.

Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges 2018 Loire, France
13.5% alcohol. This is pretty serious. It’s concentrated and intense […]

London restaurants (6) an amazing dinner at Brat with a Loire focus

Had a brilliant dinner at Brat last night. It was my first time, and it was one of the meals of the year.

Our theme was Loire, and we brought our own wine (corkage £20 a bottle, which is very reasonable) as well as ordering one from the list. I spent quite a while with their […]

Sauvignon Blanc: comparing good examples from the Loire and New Zealand

 

Awareness days. There are just so many of them. Sauvignon Blanc Day is 3rd of May. Whatever you think about these awareness days for grape varieties, this was an excuse to hold – somewhat in advance – a unique tasting that brought together two big players in the Sauvignon game: New Zealand and the Loire. […]

Latest releases from Centre Loire star Pascal Jolivet: Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé

Domaine Pascal Jolivet is one of the most significant producers in the centre Loire, making some impressive wines from the Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé appellations.

As a family, the Jolivets entered the wine business in the 1920s, working as winemakers and owning a wine merchant. In 1982, they started a distribution business, and young Pascal Jolivet, then […]

Vincent Carême Vouvray Sec 2015

I visited Vincent Carême a year ago, and loved his wines, as well as Vouvray, which makes some of the most compelling Chenin Blancs you could hope for (as well as some bad ones, alas). This is the sort of wine I like: it’s not easy, but instead it is multifaceted, taking its time to […]

Sebastien Brunet Les Pentes de la Folie Vouvray

Another find at Scotch wine bar in Blenheim. So much Vouvray is disappointing, but this domaine, which Sébastien took over from his father in 2006, is making the most of these exceptional terroirs. This is his top dry Chenin, and it’s lovely.

Domaine Sébastien Brunet Vouvray Les Pentes de la Folie 2015 Loire, France
This Chenin Blanc […]

Loire adventure: Nicolas and Virginie Joly, Coulée de Serrant, Savennières

La Coulée de Serrant (Chateau de la Roche aux Moines) is a domaine with a narrow focus. It’s just whites. Just Chenin Blanc. Just dry wines. But it is this narrow focus that has contributed to its fame. These are distinctive wines from a distinctive terroir, and they are not without controversy. Some regard this […]

Three Muscadets, and how I am beginning to love Melon

Isn’t Melon an interesting grape variety? I’ve had good examples from Canada (Niagara) and Oregon of late. I’m glad people are working with a variety like this, which traditionally hasn’t been taken seriously.

These were three Muscadets that I opened last night. I think I’ll be exploring this region and grape variety further.

Champteloup Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur […]

Loire adventure: visiting the remarkable François Saint-Lô

François Saint-Lô

The rain was easing as we arrived for an appointment with François Saint-Lô, but it was still a cold, damp day. Not ideal for tasting wine. There’s nothing fancy about his place, but it has a good feel about it. It’s a gem of a project: it seems like a wine-making commune, with […]

Loire adventure: Melaric, Saumur

It may have been May, but it felt like November as we arrived at Melaric in Saumur. It was cold, blustery and the rain beat down incessantly on the roof as we talked and tasted. This is the project of Mélanie and Aymeric Hilaire (above, in his cellar), two young vignerons whose fused names create […]