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Loire Valley

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

Pellé's domaine is centred in Morogues, a village at the far eastern end of the Loire Valley. The cellars are close to the village centre, nestling below the beautiful Les Cris (red grape) vineyard. Pelle produce wines from both the Menetou-Salon and Sancerre appellations.

Sauvignon Blanc 100%.

This wine is a blend of 7 parcels from the highest slopes of the Menetou appellation. This location (cool yet sunny) and 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 followed by a saline and mineral finish. Nothing overly exuberant: just clarity and precision.

ABV = 13.0%.

£17.30

Domaine La Roche Aux Moines Savennieres Roche Aux Moines 2015 (1x75cl)

Savennières- Roche aux Moines, a sub-appellation of Savennières AOC, is one of the finest cru of Anjou. Named after the monks of the Abbey of Saint-Nicolas d'Angers who first planted vines in 1130, this celebrated AOC encompasses fewer than 60 planted acres on the right bank of the Loire. 

Stony, well-drained schist soils - along with a south-southwest exposure - provide ideal conditions for producing exquisite Chenin Blanc. The eight winegrowers of Savennières-Roche aux Moines adhere to incredibly meticulous farming and winemaking standards that include: organic farming; sole planting of Chenin Blanc; low yields to ensure flavor concentration; hand harvesting over multiple passes; no chaptalization whatsoever; aging of at least 10 months; and estate bottling. 

By taking such extraordinary measures to ensure quality, the winemakers from this region are crafting the wines from Roche aux Moines like one would a grand cru. The resulting wines possess a profound eloquence and can age for decades, revealing even greater nuance, complexity, and minerality over time.

100% Chenin Blanc. 

Light yellow color with brilliant yellow glints. Complex flavour of spices and exotic fruits with notes of gentian, iris and vanilla on the nose. Impressive structure of the wine. Dense attack with a powerful mid-palate supported by a fine aging. The finish reveals all the austerity of this great terroir with mineral and volcanic notes.

ABV = 13.5%.

£27.45

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 = 13.0%.

£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 = 13.0%.

£16.95

Langlois Chateau Saumur Blanc 2017 (1x75cl)

Founded in 1912 by Edouard Langlois and his wife Jeanne Château from the outset the company specialized in the sparkling wines. They suffered a major setback in 1915 when Edouard Langlois was killed during the First World War. However the business was carried on by his widow and continued to thrive.

In 1973 they were acquired by the famous champagne house Bollinger and with the financial investment that came with it were able to expand both their cellars and vineyard holdings in Saumur, Saumur-Champigny and Sancerre. In 2007 their winery at Saint-Hilare-Saint-Florent in Saumur was significantly expanded and now handles their entire production and distribution operations which are under the stewardship of the current chief winemaler and general manager, François Régis de Fougeroux. These days in addiition to their renowned Loire Valley sparkling wines their growing range of still wines is also starting to make waves.

Chenin Blanc 100%.

Saumur whites are made from Chenin Blanc and are characteristically crisp and fruity. Here the wine has a pale yellow hue and an intense nose with aromas of ripe stone fruits at first with honey and toasty notes following. Strikingly crisp at first it then shows its real fruitiness and generous, ripe structure. And it wraps up well with a pleasingly fresh and clean citrus finish.

Subtle and elegant it's the ideal companion for raw or cooked shellfish, grilled white fish and even works with asparagus.

ABV = 13.0%.

£11.80

Marcel Martin Touraine Sauvignon La Perclaire 2017 (1x75cl)

Marcel Martin founded his family-owned wine company over 50 years ago in the Loire Valley. At that time, Loire wines weren't as popular as they are now. Along the way he found other areas, like the Cotes de Gascogne, which had not yet been recognized as wonderful wine destinations, yet the wines were fabulous. That's all Marcel needed. As he traversed France's wine regions, he met and formed relationships in many of the lesser-known appellations - ones which produced wonderful wines. He even blended wines from different regions, a practice usually frowned upon, but Marcel achieved excellent results.

100% Sauvignon Blanc. 

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. It's a Sauvi Blanc showing exotic fruit and gooseberry flavours.

ABV = 12.0%. 

£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

Pascal Jolivet Pouilly Fume 2018 (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.

2018 vintage was one of the largest crops of the decade, with favourable weather conditions throughout the year yielding concentrated wines that are a bit lower in acidity than usual. Chenin Blanc and red varieties did very well, while a streak of rain affected areas producing Sauvignon Blanc, causing some disease pressure; very little noble rot, but good ripeness overall.

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

Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Blanc 2018 (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.

Sancerre is situated 200km south of Paris at an altitude of between 200-400m. Jolivet own 42 hectares of vineyard in Sancerre, close to the villages of Bué, Verdigny and Ste Gemme. Located close to the Loire River and surrounded by forest creates a relatively mild micro climate for the vineyards. 50% of the grapes come from ‘Les Caillottes’ vineyard grown on chalky soil, in Bué-en-Sancerre, 30% from ‘Les Terres Blanches’, the highest hill in the west on calcareous-clay soils, and 20% from the east limestone and flint soils. The vines are trained using the vertical shoot positioning system.

After harvest, the grapes are gently pressed. The juice is then fermented in stainless steel using natural yeasts, at 16°C for 25 days. The grapes from each parcel are fermented separately. After fermentation, the wine spends a further two months maturing in stainless steel before bottling.

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

A wine of style marked by richness, elegance and smoothness. Lifted aromas of flint, citrus zest. This wine is powerful and presents a perfect balance.

ABV = 12.5%. 

£20.45
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