The 2017 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).
The Marionnet family arrived in Soings, in the eastern part of Touraine (30 km south of Blois), in the middle of the last century. Their vineyards were completely replanted and expanded between 1967 and 1978. The total vine area is today some 60 hectares, producing some 400,000 bottles of red and white wines. The cellar is fully equipped with stainless steel vats and modern winemaking technology.
Domaine de la Charmoise is mainly planted with Gamay for red wines and Sauvignon for whites. Gamay covers an area of 33 hectares. Average yields are around 55 hl/ha. Sauvignon occupies an area of ~20 ha. The soil is of a type locally known as perruche (= parakeet!), composed of flint, clay, silica and gravel. The estate is located at the highest point between the Loire (to the north) and the Cher (to the south). Thanks to its position, the most easterly of Touraine, the domaine benefits from a continental climate conducive to Gamay and Sauvignon. In addition, a favourable microclimate ensures both excellent maturity and good protection against one of the upper Loire's main hazards: spring frosts.
The harvest is entirely picked by hand with great care and this, the domaine tell us, intriguingly, is “almost exclusively by women”. The clusters undergo rigorous selection and a severe sorting if necessary. These are then placed in vats intact for intracellular fermentation/(semi)-carbonic maceration, yielding a most elegant wine with a brilliant ruby red/purple color. On the nose and palate, it's a real explosion of strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrant, kirsch, coffee, and bonbons anglais. It's a "pleasure wine", and - (al)so say the domaine - "a wine for an entire meal" (best served chilled).
This wine is made using 100% Gamay.
ABV = 13.0%.
Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)
Domaines Minchin is located in the heart of the Loire Valley. Having studied oenology at Beaune and Dijon, Bertrand Minchin acquired his first vineyards in the village of Morogues over 20 years ago, planting them with eight hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and seven of Pinot Noir. Today with an established reputation for quality, the estate has doubled in size to 17 hectares in Menetou-Salon and a further 14 in Valençay. The modern winery incorporates the latest technology and Bertrand is hand-crafting wines that are easily on a par with the finest Sancerre.
The grapes come from a single vineyard ‘Pommerais’ in the appellation of Menetou Salon, which is situated in the eastern part of the Loire Valley. Domaines Minchin is certified by Haute Valeur Environmentale and the vineyards are managed according to a strict sustainable philosophy, known as lutte raisonnée. The vineyard is planted with grass, and the soil is tilled and worked to ensure the health and vigour of the vine, while encouraging beneficial biodiversity. Debudding takes place in spring along with careful canopy management in summer, including thinning, which encourages the grapes to reach optimal ripeness and concentrates the flavours in the berries.
The Loire Valley vines enjoyed excellent heath throughout the season. 2017 was characterised by an early harvest, which took place two weeks earlier than average, under ideal weather conditions. Frost in April impacted some areas resulting in lower yields; however the excellent quality of the grapes harvested shows good levels of maturity and flavour concentration.
The grapes were harvested by hand at optimum maturity, destemmed and crushed by pneumatic press. Fermentation was carried out in temperature controlled tanks. Following fermentation, the wine was aged on its lees in oak vats for eight months; of which 80% spent its maturation in cone-shaped oak tanks, and the remaining 20% was in oak barrels.
100% Pinot Noir.
A silky smooth Pinot Noir with beautiful balance. Rich and complex aromas of deep red cherries and wild strawberries are underpinned by mineral notes and a hint of liquorice. Silky smooth on the palate, with delicate fruity notes enveloped in a beautifully balanced structure.
This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
ABV = 12.5%.
Pascal Jolivet was founded in 1987 and is one of the most dynamic domaines in France’s Loire Valley. Based in Sancerre, the domaine now owns 70 hectares of vineyards spread across the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. The domaine supplements the estate holdings with additional fruit sourced from long-term contract growers some of the prime sites of the region including ‘Les Caillottes’, ‘Le Chêne Marchand’ and ‘Le Clos du Roy’. Pascal shares his philosophy with winemaker, Valentina Buoso: to work in harmony with nature to produce wines with purity of fruit, a linear character and minerality, allowing a natural expression of the vineyard to give the wines a sense of place.
Jolivet own 42 hectares of vineyard in Sancerre at an altitude of between 200-400m, close to the villages of Bué, Verdigny and Ste Gemme, 3.5 of which are planted with Pinot Noir. Located close to the Loire River and surrounded by forest creates a relatively mild micro climate for the vineyards. The soils are a mix of chalk and clay. The vines are trained using the vertical shoot positioning system.
After 10 days of cold maceration the juice is fermented for 15 days at 22°C in stainless steel using only naturally occurring yeasts. After fermentation, the wine spends a further year maturing on its lees, giving a subtle, rich complexity to the wine before bottling. All parcels are vinified separately and are blended just before bottling.
100% Pinot Noir.
Jewel coloured with delicate aromas of red fruit. Elegant and subtle spicy flavours are the main characteristics of this pinot noir leading to a clean, pure finish. Pair with duck salads, pork, charcuterie and cheese.
ABV = 12.5%.