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 [...]

Loire adventure: Bernard Baudry, Chinon

Matthieu Baudry

Next stop on the Loire adventure was Chinon, with Matthieu Baudry of Domaine Bernard Baudry. The domaine was created by Bernard, father of Matthieu, back in 1975, and Matthieu joined in 2000. His dad is technically retired but is still involved. This is mostly a red wine domaine, and is devoted to Cabernet [...]

Loire adventure: Clau de Nell, Anjou

Sylvain Potin and Christian Jacques

There’s an interesting story behind Anjou-based biodynamic winery Clau de Nell, which was the next stop on our Loire tour.

Christian Jacques was married to the late Anne Claude Leflaive, and in 2008 the pair purchased the struggling Clau de Nell domaine, initially with a view to running it with the [...]

Loire adventure: Vincent Carême, Vouvray

Vincent Carême

The drive from Montlouis to Vouvray took us past the famous troglodyte residences built into the tufa (soft limestone) cliffs that follow the Cher and Loire rivers. Here, homes and wine cellars have been built into caves that were created when limestone for building was extracted. They are quirky and wonderful.

For winegrowers who [...]

Loire adventure: the film

This is a film of our Loire Valley wine adventure. We started with a day in Paris, then we head to Sancerre, before working our way up the Loire to Muscadet. It’s such an interesting wine region, and we met some great people, and tasted and drank many memorable wines.

In this film we meet the [...]

Loire adventure: Taille aux Loups, Montois, with Jacky Blot

Amboise

The view from my bedroom window!

We finished our appointment at Puzelat and headed to Amboise. It was a beautiful sunny evening, and we were quite excited, because we were staying in a castle right in the middle of town. Nicole, who booked accommodation for the trip, is officially the queen of Airbnb, and [...]

Loire adventure: Clos du Tue Boeuf with Jean-Marie Puzelat

Jean-Marie Puzelat

This was quite a visit at Clos du Tue Boeuf. I’ve met Thierry Puzelat before, and I’ve tasted these wines a bit. They are brought into the UK by Les Caves de Pyrene, and I’ve always loved them. Here was a chance to visit. Thierry was travelling, so we met with Jean-Marie, older [...]