Two delicious expressions of Cheverny

Cheverny is a little-known appellation in the Loire. Here are two contrasting wines. In the red corner, a wonderful natural-style wine that’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. In the white, a more accessible blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay (this is typical of the region’s whites, although Chenin and Arbois are also allowed).

Clos de Tue-Boeuf ‘Rouillon’ Cheverny 2009 Loire, France
12.5% alcohol. Beautifully savoury, structured edge to the gravelly, minerally, dark cherry and berry fruit. Manages to be savoury and edgy yet elegant at the same time. Quite pure flavours with nice fruit, and a pleasant grip on the finish. The aromatics are a bit subdued at first, but this is a really lovely, drinkable light red wine. 92/100 (UK agent Les Caves de Pyrene)

Domaine de Léry Cheverny 2009 Loire, France
12.5% alcohol. A blend of 80% Sauvignon with 20% Chardonnay. Fresh, intense, grassy and herby with a lively citrus quality. Rounded and fruity with some sweet notes as well as the lively gooseberry characters. Very assertive and fresh with nice purity. 89/100 (£9.99 Oddbins)

15 comments to Two delicious expressions of Cheverny

  • Richard Morris

    Wine writers often recommend wines from Les Caves de Pyrene. I’d like to buy from them but I’m put off by this statement (the equivalent of which I have not seen elsewhere) on their website:

    “Our website is not geared up for online purchases and unfortunately due to a conflict of interests with some of the retailers we supply we are unable to list prices on our website. Please feel free to contact us via telephone or email for individual prices, an up to date list, or any other enquiry.”

    Any thoughts?º

  • jason carey

    I love Puzelat.. love him.

  • Richard, they have a shop. And they do sell to consumers. But the vast majority of business is with restaurants and independent wine merchants, and they have to be careful not to publish prices, or they could undercut some of their customers, which would be bad for business. They’re happy to sell to consumers, but they have to be careful.

  • Puzelat rocks. Never had a wine I didn’t like from him

  • Richard Morris

    Jamie – sorry but I don’t follow. Lots of other wine merchants have a wholesale business and they publish prices. And I don’t see how they can do other than ‘undercut’ their customers (I think you mean ‘will be seen to undercut’), who will mark the wine up on resale.

    I’m assuming wine writers get free samples (another of their wines recommended in the Observer today) – for the rest of us it is not so easy. After all CdP don’t have to sell retail. Why make it difficult?

  • Doug

    Richard, I understand your frustration and we have wrestled with this issue. As our website is consulted equally by wholesalers, retailers, restaurateurs and private customers, who are on variable discount structures, we wanted to simplify the procedure, allow customers or businesses to contact us, and request the list most appropriate for them. So, a price list is available – you just have to request one.

    We are not a professional internet retailer ourselves preferring to deal with our private customers through more personal contact. I would be the first to say that our web-site is a rather amateur affair as a selling tool. We have a huge list and it is nice to be able to help to point people in the right direction where possible. We also want to take account of the sensitivities and support the efforts of the retailers and wholesalers that we deal with, so, if we are seen to be obviously undercutting them it negates much of the reason for them buying wines from us. And some of them are doing a fantastic job for the wines, which is as it should be. We could theoretically publish an on-line list of “recommended retail prices”, or people might come to our shop and purchase wine on-site, or phone us, or alternatively they can request a price list to be sent either by post or e-mail.

    As you observe we don’t have to sell retail, but we would like to make our wines available to the widest number of people possible. Very few retailers (even restaurants) will still take the risk and sell natural wines, for example; if we are to get our message out there we have to get people tasting the wines (through private consumer, trade and press tastings), opening samples in our shop and sharing our tasting notes on our web-site. Customer satisfaction and word of mouth will do the rest. It is brilliant to be recognised in the press and by wine writers, but I think it is to do mostly with the quality of the wines themselves (if I may say so) rather than because we are ingenious self-promoters!

    Doug – Les Caves de Pyrene

  • Richard Morris

    Doug, thanks for taking the time to explain.

  • Andrew Halliwell

    Jamie – good one, continuing to carry the standard for some unfamous wines. I like Loire reds and I’ve never heard of a Sauv Chardy blend before.

  • Patrick

    Doug

    Think you do a great job – I can understand how it is frustrating that CdP wines aren’t more directly available, but it does mean that trips from South London to your store (as we have done a few times now) take on the hallowed status of a pilgrimage – next time I might need a bigger car!

    The tricky thing of course is what to do in Guildford afterwards…

    Patrick

    p.s. Your (price-free) wine list is wonderful reading, too

  • Never had a wine from Puzelat that you didn’t like? I find the domaine to be a consistent offender in terms of oxidation, a problem that runs rife through the wines of the natural, low-sulphur brigade and which seems to be widely ignored. I think the wines are wacky across the board, and whilst I agree that some can be delicious I think there are also plenty I have tasted that are a bit weird if not just plain dead. Have you had any with a decent amount of bottle age – say a year or two? That 2009 is still pretty young.

  • Tom C

    Good source of ‘Natural Wines’ including many that are uncannily similar to those offered by CdP – http://www.slurp.co.uk

  • I like the Slurp list (disclosure – they advertise on my site) but they do tend to sell a lot in six-packs when these CdP wines are often ones where I would rather pick and choose a mix of single bottles.

  • Yes, chris, sometimes encountered a bit of oxidative character, but it works – same goes for a touch of brett in some of the reds

  • OK, interesting. It doesn’t work for me though, mainly because the wines I have encountered have been very oxidised without much else to see. That could be the wines, or my view of them (or both I guess).

  • tim p

    Interesting – the replies and comments are longer than the original article.

    I’m drinking a bottle of 2009 Cheverny (red) domaine de montcy – quite frankly its not nice. Colour & clarity are wonderful, nose is neither gamay nor pinot – but calvados – yes, apple brandy. The calvados taint follows through to taste and lingers.

    Shame because I have 5 bottles still remaining from a case of this wine, picked up in a trip to Calais.

    My observation based on this bottle and many previous: is that although one can buy cheaper in Calais… if you buy in the UK then at least there has been an additional ‘buyer’ in the chain to weed out the dross.

    Comments?

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