In the Centre Loire: Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Coteaux du Giennois

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The Monts Damnes vineyard in Sancerre

For the last couple of days I have been in the Centre Loire, visiting Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and the Coteaux du Giennois. These three neighbouring appellations are home to some compelling Sauvignon Blanc, as well as good Pinot Noir and Gamay in smaller quantities. For the next couple of days I’ll be doing more of the same, as well as taking in Reuilly and Quincy.

Vintage 2017 beginning in the Coteaux du Giennois

Vintage 2017 beginning in the Coteaux du Giennois

One of the things that has struck me so far is how distinctive and exciting the terroirs are here. All three appellations have a mix, with limestone and clay (calcaire argile), kimmeridgean marl and clay, and flint (silex) and clay the three main combinations. Wines from all three terroirs taste different. There’s also silex over a limestone base, and some vineyards with both limestone and silex.

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Some late pruning

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Another thing that has been exciting is just how well some of these wines age. I’ve had some great experiences with wines from the 1990s. Who said Sauvignon doesn’t age?

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Enjoying some older wines with Pascal Gittons and his daughter Chanel

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An 18th century barn at Villargeau, Coteaux du Giennois

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With Raymond Bourgeois (of Henri Bourgeois), in the cellar, Sancerre

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In the vineyard with Melanie Masson and her father Jean-Michel

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