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 […]

Some nice high-end rosés

Had these nice high-end rosés yesterday afternoon, with friends.

Triennes Rosé 2017 Provence, France
Pure delicate and aromatic – very bright with tangerine and lemon and red currant. So fresh. 90/100

Francois Cotat Sancerre Rosé Chavignol 2014 Loire, France
Edgy and reductive. Spicy and detailed with a sappy edge. Cherries and minerals. So good. 92/100

Pierre-Yves Colin Morey Rosé de […]

At the Fish Shop, Dublin, with Tondonia Rosé, Dagueneau and UBE

It was the second stop in the Ireland Beaujolais tour. After a very successful seminar, we headed over to the Fish Shop, Benburb Street, for a remarkable meal including some stunning wines. This place is incredible: small, informal, but some of the best seafood I’ve eaten in a long time. There were six of us, […]

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 […]