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Loire Valley

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Chateau Du Coing De St Fiacre Muscadet Sevre Et Maine Sur Lie 2017 (1x75cl)

Château du Coing is located in the village of Saint Fiacre, in the Sèvre et Maine district of Muscadet. The owner and winemaker is Véronique Günther-Chéreau, whose family has been making wine at Saint Fiacre since 1421. Véronique has over 65 hectares of vines which lie at the meeting point of the Sèvre and Maine rivers. Unusually for négoce-dominated Muscadet, Château du Coing is family run and uses solely estate grown fruit. The style is 'sur lie', with at least six months' ageing on the yeast lees to ensure more body and complexity than the average Muscadet on the market.

Sèvre et Maine is acknowledged to be the best district in which to grow Muscadet (Melon de Bourgogne). The vineyard of Château du Coing is located in the village of Saint Fiacre sur Maine, just at the confluence of the rivers Sèvre and Maine. The soil is composed of schists and the vineyards are south-facing with slopes of 14%. The vines here are on average 65 years old, giving depth and richness to the wines.

Spring frosts in April affected yields in some areas of the Loire Valley, however, a long, warm summer allowed the grapes to ripen fully. Summer was so warm that many producers harvested around one month ahead of schedule. The 2017 vintage is looking promising as the wines are fruit-driven and despite their advanced state of ripeness at harvest, retain good acidity and a pleasing balance on the palate.

The wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel. It qualifies as Muscadet 'Sur Lie' due to the six months' ageing on its fine lees after fermentation.

100% Melon de Bourgogne.

Pale yellow in colour, this wine has aromas of white peach, green apples and floral notes. On the palate, the pure citrus fruit is bolstered by body, richness and structure from the lees ageing. Crisp and vibrant, it is the perfect companion to seafood.

ABV = 12.0%.

£11.35

Chateau Du Coing De St Fiacre Muscadet Sevre Et Maine Sur Lie 2018 (1x75cl)

Château du Coing is located in the village of Saint Fiacre, in the Sèvre et Maine district of Muscadet. The owner and winemaker is Véronique Günther-Chéreau, whose family has been making wine at Saint Fiacre since 1421. Véronique has over 65 hectares of vines which lie at the meeting point of the Sèvre and Maine rivers. Unusually for négoce-dominated Muscadet, Château du Coing is family run and uses solely estate grown fruit. The style is 'sur lie', with at least six months' ageing on the yeast lees to ensure more body and complexity than the average Muscadet on the market.

Sèvre et Maine is acknowledged to be the best district in which to grow Muscadet (Melon de Bourgogne). The vineyard of Château du Coing is located in the village of Saint Fiacre sur Maine, just at the confluence of the rivers Sèvre and Maine. The soil is composed of schists and the vineyards are south-facing with slopes of 14%. The vines here are on average 65 years old, giving depth and richness to the wines.

2018 has been exceptional both in terms of the quality and quantity of fruit produced. Favourable spring conditions without the frosts of the previous year ensured good vine development. Flowering in June went well and the hot conditions throughout the summer encouraged growth. The settled dry weather from August to October ensured that the fruit reached full maturity without any disease.

After being gently pressed the must was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at 20°C for a period of two to three weeks. Following fermentation, the wine was matured on lees for six months in underground tanks, to add complexity and texture.

100% Melon de Bourgogne.

Pale yellow in colour, this wine has aromas of white peach, green apples and floral notes. On the palate, the pure citrus fruit is bolstered by body, richness and structure from the lees ageing. Crisp and vibrant, it is the perfect companion to seafood.

ABV = 12.0%.

£11.35

Domaine de la Villaudiere Sancerre 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2020 edition panel tasting of Loire Sauvignon Blanc (see blue link below).

Domaine de la Villaudiere Sancerre 2018 - June 2020 Decanter review

Domaine de la Villaudière is owned by Jean-Marie Reverdy together with his son Guillaume. Handed down through several generations, this 15-hectare family estate overlooks the pretty village of Verdigny. The unique location offers stunning views of the famous Sancerre hill and its vineyards. Patience, perseverance and precision are the bywords of all those involved in Domaine de la Villaudière. From the management of the vineyards to the production of the wines, the family continues to build on the work begun by the previous generations, which gives their wines acaptivating blend of authenticity and modernity.

Covering 28 plots, the vineyards are over thirty years old on average. For over 20 years, the vines have been cultivated according to sustainable methods with a reduced use of chemicals, known in French as lutte raisonnée. Enjoying an easterly exposure, ripening is slow and gradual helping to build concentrated flavours in the grapes, while retaining refreshing acidity. The vines are partially thinned in July to maintain good health throughout the growing cycle and to encourage a good phenolic maturity. This cuvée is the result of a blend of the two main Sancerre soil types. The vast calcareous clay slopes locally referred to as terres blanches produce wines that are more complex, robust and with more texture as a result of the clay content. The dry, stony limestone hills locally known as caillotes produce fresh, fruity wines with floral nuances, with lovely acidity. This cuvée achieves the optimum balance between the two.

The grapes were pressed within three hours of harvesting. After settling for 12 to 24 hours, the must was fermented in stainless steel temperature controlled tanks between 15 and 20°C. At the end of fermentation, the initial racking was carried out to remove the gross lees. Bottling began in the spring, following blending, clarification and the stabilisation of the wine. 

Sauvignon Blanc 100%.

Expressive on the nose, combining floral fragrances with aromas of white peach and exotic pineapple and passion fruit. Beautifully balanced, the wine is underpinned by freshness and powerful, long-lasting acidity on the finish, revealing a lovely minerality. Classic Sancerre from a top grower.

ABV = 13.0%.

£18.30

Domaine Henry Pelle Menetou-Salon Blanc Morogues 2015 (1x75cl)

A blend of 7 parcels from the highest slopes of the appellation. This loca- tion (cool yet sunny climate) and this soil (Kimmeridgian marl) give this wine a subtle, pure nose with aromas of white flowers and citrus fruits. The taste is racy and cristalline, clear with a citrus fruit taste initially fol- lowed by a saline and mineral finish. Nothing overly exuberant: just clarity and precision.

Sauvignon Blanc 100%.

ABV = 13.0%.

£17.30

Domaine Tabordet Les Calcis Pouilly Fume 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2020 edition panel tasting of Loire Sauvignon Blanc (see blue link below).

Domaine Tabordet Les Calcis Pouilly-Fume 2017 - June 2020 Decanter review

Run by Pascal and Marie-Laure together with their son Marius, Domaine Tabordet is a 19-hectare estate, including five hectares in Sancerre and 14 ha in Pouilly-Fumé. The domain is very much a family business, run in a traditional spirit, but using the latest winemaking technology. The vineyards are managed with the utmost respect for sustainability and biodiversity. The resulting wines are a true reflection of the diverse terroirs which make up their estate, showing characteristic flinty flavours, with good weight and a full body.

The winter was mild, with cold spells in January. Spring was marked by frost, which affected some vines. The summer warmed up and flowering took place under good weather conditions. The summer remained warm and was very dry; as a result the vines stared to get depleted of water. Thankfully a significant storm took place at the end of July, bringing beneficial rainwater. Harvest took place early, starting on 18th September, with grapes having reached good maturity levels and excellent quality.

The vineyard is situated in the heart of the Pouilly Fumé appellation on the right bank of the Loire River. The vines are trained according to the Guyot method. The vineyard is carefully cultivated throughout the year with debudding of the vines, tilling of the soil to reduce the need for herbicides; and certain parcels are left with grass cover to limit the vigour of the vines. Canopy management such as deleafing takes place at the end of June. The soil in the vineyard is made up of Kimmeridgian marl, which is a chalky clay; caillottes a local chalky limestone and silex, a clay with flint throughout. The harvest takes place between mid-September and mid-October when the grapes have reached optimal maturity.

The wine was made with as little intervention as possible, in order to express the characteristics of the grapes and the terroir. The grapes were carefully selected and gently pressed to avoid crushing. The must was transported by gravity into vats, where it was cooled to 10°C and clarified. Fermentation took place in old 600 litre barriques of two to five years. Once fermentation was complete, the wine was aged in the barriques for 10 to 12 months, imparting subtle oak characteristics and structure. The wine was gently filtered prior to being bottled.

Sauvignon Blanc 100%.

A barrel-fermented Pouilly Fumé with good fruit concentration, characteristic flinty notes and a subtle touch of vanilla. The textured palate is beautifully balanced and has a lovely mineral freshness on the long, persistent finish.

ABV = 13.0%. 

£24.70

Joel Delaunay La Voute Touraine Chenonceaux 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage (now all gone, alas) was awarded a Gold Medal and 96 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

La Voûte comes from a relatively new appellation called Touraine Chenonceaux, which was created in 2011 after 20 years in the making. Chenonceaux is known for the majestic Château de Chenonceau, featured on the La Voûte label. The wines are from selected parcels of vines located in Touraine. The Sauvignon Blanc is often not released until May following the vintage, spending around seven months on its lees to add weight, texture and complexity.

La Voûte is situated in Touraine Chenonceaux, on the bank of the Cher Valley, 50 kilometres east of Tours near the famous Château de Chenonceau. The soil is clay and silex (a mixture of flint and sand) and the pruning method is simple Guyot.

After a hard frost in April, which had a significant impact across the Loire Valley, the end of spring and summer was relatively clement, allowing the grapes to reach optimum maturity. The harvest itself was early, starting from 1st September. Although the difficult conditions resulted in a small harvest, the small size of the grapes resulted in excellent concentration and very high quality fruit.

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

100% of the cuvée underwent skin contact for 20 hours in a pneumatic press. Alcoholic fermentation took place over 20 days at a controlled temperature of 16°C. The wine was aged on fine lees after fermentation with bâtonnage until the end of April. The wine was then filtered before bottling.

This wine is pale lemon in colour, with youthful lights. It has an intense, elegant nose combining of grapefruit, tropical fruits and blackcurrant. On the palate, it is fresh and clean, with a fine mineral character and long finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£15.45

Joseph Mellot Menetou Salon Les Thureaux 2018 (1x75cl)

The yet-to-arrive-in-the-UK 2019 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2020 edition panel tasting of Loire Sauvignon Blanc (see blue link below).

Joseph Mellot Menetou-Salon Les Thureaux 2017 - June 2020 Decanter review

Deeply rooted in the heart of Sancerre, the history of Joseph Mellot spans 500 years and several generations of the Mellot family. Founded by Pierre-Etienne Mellot in 1513 the family-run estate is today one of Sancerre's largest and undoubtedly most prestigious.

Current owner Catherine Corbeau-Mellot and her team strongly believe in the notion of terroir. Holding close to 100 hectares of land spanning all the appellations of the Central Vineyards, they are committed to bringing out the extraordinary potential and individual nuances of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from the different appellations. Joseph Mellot is the only winery that owns vines and produces wines from the seven main appellations of the Central Loire region (Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Quincy, Reuilly, Menetou-Salon, Coteaux du Giennois and Châteaumeillant).

See here for an excellent (albeit 10-minute-long) video on (Domaine) Joseph Mellot (French, English subtitles).

Wine production is carried out according to the terroir, so as to respect the specific character of each vintage. The wines are produced at one of three sites, one in Sancerre, one in Maltaverne in Pouilly-Fumé and one in Quincy, giving them a firm control over the wines they make. For white wines, the pressing is slow, and is carried out in pneumatic presses in order to extract the purest juice. For certain plots of land and depending on the years, pressing may be preceded by pre-fermentation maceration.

The vineyard for Les Thureaux is situated near Bourges, south of Sancerre, on gentle slopes. The soil is composed of clay and limestone overlaying Kimmeridgian marls. All vineyard processes are carried out in an environmentally-friendly manner, adapted for each terroir.

For this Menetou-Salon, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the team at Joseph Mellot.

Joseph Mellot Menetou-Salon Les Thureaux 2017 - fiche technique

Sauvignon Blanc 100%.

Pale golden colour, intense and expressive nose. Citrus an tropical fruits notes. Full mouth, steady, citrus and mango aromas. Lovely freshness and aromatic finale.

ABV = 12.5%.

£13.95

Joseph Mellot Pouilly Fume Le Chant des Vignes 2018 (1x75cl)

Deeply rooted in the heart of Sancerre, the history of Joseph Mellot spans 500 years and several generations of the Mellot family. Founded by Pierre-Etienne Mellot in 1513 the family-run estate is today one of Sancerre's largest and undoubtedly most prestigious.

Current owner Catherine Corbeau-Mellot and her team strongly believe in the notion of terroir. Holding close to 100 hectares of land spanning all the appellations of the Central Vineyards, they are committed to bringing out the extraordinary potential and individual nuances of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from the different appellations. Joseph Mellot is the only winery that owns vines and produces wines from the seven main appellations of the Central Loire region (Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Quincy, Reuilly, Menetou-Salon, Coteaux du Giennois and Châteaumeillant).

See here for an excellent (albeit 10-minute-long) video on (Domaine) Joseph Mellot (French, English subtitles).

Wine production is carried out according to the terroir, so as to respect the specific character of each vintage. The wines are produced at one of three sites, one in Sancerre, one in Maltaverne in Pouilly-Fumé and one in Quincy, giving them a firm control over the wines they make. For white wines, the pressing is slow, and is carried out in pneumatic presses in order to extract the purest juice. For certain plots of land and depending on the years, pressing may be preceded by pre-fermentation maceration.

The grapes are grown on predominantly siliceous soils. All vineyard processes are carried out in an environmental manner, adapted to each terroir.

For this Pouilly-Fumé, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note (alas only the 2016 is available) from the team at Joseph Mellot.

Joseph Mellot Pouilly-Fume Le Chant Des Vignes 2018 - fiche technique

Sauvignon Blanc 100%.

Yellow pale and brilliant colour with golden hues. Complex nose, citrus fruit and exotic fruit notes. Fresh and vivid attack. Passion fruit and orange aromas. Nice aromatic persistence. 

ABV = 13.0%.

£15.50

Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Chatellenie 2018 (1x75cl)

Deeply rooted in the heart of Sancerre, the history of Joseph Mellot spans 500 years and several generations of the Mellot family. Founded by Pierre-Etienne Mellot in 1513 the family-run estate is today one of Sancerre's largest and undoubtedly most prestigious.

Current owner Catherine Corbeau-Mellot and her team strongly believe in the notion of terroir. Holding close to 100 hectares of land spanning all the appellations of the Central Vineyards, they are committed to bringing out the extraordinary potential and individual nuances of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from the different appellations. Joseph Mellot is the only winery that owns vines and produces wines from the seven main appellations of the Central Loire region (Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Quincy, Reuilly, Menetou-Salon, Coteaux du Giennois and Châteaumeillant).

See here for an excellent (albeit 10-minute-long) video on (Domaine) Joseph Mellot (French, English subtitles).

Wine production is carried out according to the terroir, so as to respect the specific character of each vintage. The wines are produced at one of three sites, one in Sancerre, one in Maltaverne in Pouilly-Fumé and one in Quincy, giving them a firm control over the wines they make. For white wines, the pressing is slow, and is carried out in pneumatic presses in order to extract the purest juice. For certain plots of land and depending on the years, pressing may be preceded by pre-fermentation maceration.

La Chatellenie is a single vineyard of 22 hectares with ancient soils from the Cretaceous period. This flint-rich siliceous clay emparts the subtle hint of gun-flint. All vineyard processes are carried out in an environmentally-friendly manner, adapted to each terroir.

For this Sancerre, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note (albeit for the 2017, 2018 sheet pending) from the team at Joseph Mellot.

Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Chatellenie 2018 - fiche technique

Sauvignon Blanc 100%.

Pale gold colour with green hues. Tropical fruits (pineapple, mango) Final note of passion fruit. Delicate, supple and harmonious attack, nice fullness. Flintstone notes. Tropical and citrus fruits, long and aromatic final.

ABV = 13.5%.

£16.95

Langlois-Chateau Saumur Blanc 2017 (1x75cl)

Light yellow colour with an intense nose. Aromas of white flowers and exotic fruit. The wine is sharp at first, fruity and full-bodied
on the palate culminating in a lengthy citrus fruit finish.

Chenin Blanc 100%.

ABV = 13.0%.

£11.80

Lionel Gosseaume Domaine De Pierre Sauvignon de Touraine 2019 (1x75cl)

The 2018 vintage was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their November 2019 edition article, Celebrating Sauvignon, picking out a Top Twelve of Sauvignon(s) Blancs.

Lionel Gosseaume Domaine De Pierre Sauvignon De Touraine 2018 - November 2019 Decanter review

If wine is in the blood, it seems you just can’t fight it. Lionel Gosseaume resisted until the age of 37, before giving in to the inevitable and taking on this small estate on the Touraine/Sologne border, between the Loire and its tributary, the Cher. Named after Lionel’s father, Domaine de Pierre vineyards date back to the late 19th century, the wines they produce having risen far above and beyond the Touraine norm.

This is a wine that has been fermented in stainless steel tanks as this helps preserve this wine's fresh character. No oak has been used. 

This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

Beautifully fresh wine with floral and mint aromas, a hint of green peeper and a herbaceous note. It is a fresh and lively wine with zesty acidity. There are flavours of cherry tomatoes still on the vine alongside citrus and some minty characteristics. It is certainly more complex than you would often expect for a wine from Touraine at such a reasonable price. This wine has a Sauvignon character with just a touch of herbaceous exuberance. There is also some minerality with crushed-stones, which mingle seamlessly with the wine's medium body and fresh acidity.

ABV = 13.0%.

£12.40

Lucien Crochet Les Calcaires Sancerre 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2020 edition panel tasting of Loire Sauvignon Blanc (see blue link below).

 

Lucien Crochet, Les Calcaires Sancerre 2017 - June 2020 Decanter review

It was Lucien Crochet's marriage to the daughter of Lucien Picard, and the subsequent fusion of the domaines of Lucien Picard and André Crochet (father of Lucien), that created the Domaine Lucien Crochet. Monsieur Picard was one of the very first growers in the Sancerre district to begin bottling his wines and selling them primarily to restaurants in Paris. Lucien Crochet expanded the work of his father-in-law and, over a thirty-year period, also expanded the domaine so that it now encompasses 38 hectares of vineyards.

29 hectares are planted to Sauvignon Blanc and the remaining 9 hectares are planted to Pinot Noir. The soils are clay and limestone from the Oxfordian and Kimmeridgian eras. The vineyards are on slopes of varying severity and run from south-east to south to southwest in their exposure to the sun. The vineyards are located around the towns of Bué, Sancerre and Crézancy, the finest of which is the south-facing limestone-based Chêne Marchand vineyard.

Since 1989, only organic supplements have been used in the vineyards which are planted to a density of between 6600 (older plantings) to 8700 vines per hectare. 60% of the estate’s vineyards have grass growing between the rows with the soil being worked (hoed and ploughed) just at the base of the vines, while 25% of the vineyards are fully ploughed and hoed. The harvest is manual, and the soil is worked immediately around the vine but the growth in the rows between the vines remains throughout the growing season. The domaine practices organic viticulture but is not certified as such.

Bon Viveur Gilles Crochet, son of Lucien, now looks after winemaking duties at this estate. The winery is ultra-modern, fitted out with the very latest, temperature-controlled fermentation vessels. The emphasis is on creating wines of finesse and complexity that are faithful both to terroir and vintage. Gilles makes his wines as naturally as possible using indigenous yeasts and through hand picking, careful selection of the grapes and long, slow ageing sur lie, producing taut, sophisticated and ageworthy/ageable Sancerre.

For more detail on this superb Sancerre, click on the blue link below for a data sheet/fiche technique from Crochet themselves.

Lucien Crochet, Les Calcaires Sancerre 2017 - fiche technique

Sauvignon Blanc 100%.

The wine is characterised by layer after layer of intense, concentrated fruit, more finesse and class than the regular cuvée, greater complexity, full-flavoured honeydew melon, peach, white flower, citrus rind and mineral flavours with a buttery texture, finishing long true and dry.

ABV = 13.0%. 

£21.00

Marcel Martin Touraine Sauvignon La Perclaire 2017 (1x75cl)

This floral wine is bright, crisp and zesty. It has the herbal character that is the mark of Touraine Sauvignon—ripe while also intensely green and tight. 

£12.70

Pascal Jolivet Pouilly Fume 2017 (1x75cl)

Pascal Jolivet, founded in 1987, is one of the most dynamic domaines in France’s Loire Valley. Based in Sancerre, the domaine now owns 95 hectares of vineyards spread across the appellations of Sancerre (75), Pouilly Fumé (20) and 50 hectares in Touraine. The domaine supplements the estate holdings with additional fruit sourced from long-term contract growers from some of the prime sites of the region including ‘Les Caillotes’, ‘Le Chêne Marchand’ and ‘Le Clos du Roy’.

Jolivet owns 42 hectares of vineyard in Sancerre, close to the villages of Bué, Verdigny and Ste Gemme and 8 hectares in the villages of Les Loges, St Andelain and Tracy in the Pouilly-Fumé appellation.

Valentina Buoso, a young, dynamic winemaker took over from her predecessor, Jean-Luc Soty, who had worked with Pascal for 22 years, in 2013. Pascal shares his philosophy with Valentina: 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.

Pascal’s twofold vision is to retain the style and quality of the wines but with greater precision and elegance, and to refocus on the Loire as ‘the home of Sauvignon Blanc’. The natural potential of the fruit is ‘passively’ developed, meaning that no chemicals are used for juice clarification and no industrial yeasts during fermentation. This approach to winemaking has been embraced since Pascal’s first vintage back in 1990.

Pouilly is situated 200km south of Paris, on the east bank of the Loire. Jolivet own 8 hectares, in the villages of Les Loges, St Andelain and Tracy. Located close to the Loire River and surrounded by forest creates a relatively mild micro climate for the vineyards. The soils in Les Loges (50% of blend) are chalky, giving the resultant wine length and body, while in St Andelain (30% of blend) and Tracy (20% of blend) flint and clay dominate. The grapes grown in these soils add ripeness and fruit to the character to the blend.

After harvest, the grapes are hand sorted and then gently pressed. The juice is then fermented in stainless steel using natural yeasts, at 16°C for 33 days. The grapes from each parcel are fermented separately. After fermentation, the wine spends a further two months ageing in stainless steel before bottling.

This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

Vibrant yellow colour with restrained aromas of citrus, apple and flint. It is precise and layered with clean, driving acidity, elegance and finesse. A wine with dazzling character high minerality. Great with smoked salmon, shellfish, grilled fish, vegetable dishes or goats cheese.

ABV = 12.5%.

£20.45
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