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Tag Archives: Sauvignon Blanc

Kir – Loire Valley versions

When we are touring and tasting in the Loire Valley we might treat ourselves to a little cocktail before lunching at our chosen restaurant.

In Montrichard, the ancient town on the Cher which is often our midday venue when visiting Touraine vineyards, we will sip on a Kir made from Sauvignon blanc and crème de cassis. Relaxing in the sunshine in the old market square below the romantic ruins of the 15thC castle, nothing could be finer. On the Loire Sauvignon blanc may be replaced by Chenin blanc.

In Bourgueil, further down the Loire in fine red wine country, the Kir is made from a light Cabernet franc and is called a Cadinal or a Communard.

Of course, if we are really going to spoil ourselves, we could ask for a Kir Pétillant – made with local sparkling wine – or a Kir Royal – using Champagne. And the variations do not end here; in the south of France you may be offered a Kir made with peach, raspberry or even Fig liqueurs, while here in the ancient French region of the Berry, Kir Berrichon is made with red wine and blackberry liqueur (Crème de mûres).

Kir ingredients

A selection of Kir ingredients

Originally called blanc-cassis, the drink is  named after Félix Kir, mayor of Dijon in Burgundy from 1945 until his death in 1968. Kir, an ordained priest and Second World War resistance fighter, was a pioneer of the town twinning movement, intended to foster friendship and understanding  between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation.

He is said to have popularised the drink by offering it at receptions to visiting delegations. Besides treating his international guests well, he was also promoting two economic products of the region: crème de cassis and white Burgundy wine.

Recipes for Kir vary according to taste with between 1 part in 5 and 1 part in 10 liqueur to wine being the normal range. Here in the Loire Valley, in addition to a choice of suitable white (and red) wines, we have a local liqueur maker in Distillerie GIRARDOT, located in Chissay en Touraine, on the banks of the river Cher between Montrichard and Chenonceaux. This company, dating from 1900, produces a range of fruit Crèmes  of around 20% alcohol, liqueurs (30%) and eau de vie (40%).

 

 

 

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Over the hills to Sancerre

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As I have said many times before, people tend not to realise just how big the Loire Valley is. The longest river in France, from its source up in the mountains of the Massif Central to the estuary on the Atlantic at St Nazaire is a distance of 1,012 kilometres (629 mi). Its main tributaries include the Nièvre, Maine and the Erdre rivers on its right bank, and the Allier, Cher, Indre, Vienne, and the Sèvre Nantaise rivers to the left bank. Between them they drain more than a fifth of France’s land area.

Vines are not grown along the whole of its length, but they are for a very significant portion and many of the tributaries are also Loire Valley wine production areas.

Aqueduct de Briare

Aqueduct de Briare

We live in a village on the river Cher and have easy access to the whole of the central wine growing region and many of the thousand or so chateaux which adore its river banks. Nevertheless, it is a three hour drive west to the Muscadet vineyards near Nantes, while Sancerre and Pouilly Fume are two hours to the east.  Visits to these outlying districts normally involve an overnight stay.

Cayeux iris

Cayeux iris

I small gap in our bookings schedule allowed us to do exactly that recently, driving through the dense woodlands of the Sologne to the ceramic district of Giens.  Our first day was full of non-wine events including a viewing of the Iris fields and display gardens of Cayeux (whose staff were busy winning awards at Chelsea Flower Show at the time). We were able to walk the dog over the world’s second longest canal bridge, the aqueduct de Briare, which carries the Canal latéral à la Loire 662 metres across the river Loire. A picnic was arranged by the river and within sight of the bridge.

After spending the night at a country B & B we moved into the wine-hunting phase of the trip, eventually finding ourselves in Verdigny-en-Sancerre, with nothing but vines in all directions and where we had an appointment with Michel and Benoît Girard. Actually two sons are involved in the Domaine, with one running the business side of things while the other is out in the fields. Michel rushes about and helps wherever help is needed. Their 12 hectare estate is made up of 40 parcels of vineyard where the average age of vines is 15 years.

Vineyards of Verdigny-en-Sancerre

Vineyards of Verdigny-en-Sancerre

The vines of the Domaine Michel Girard et Fils cover all three Sancerre soil types –Terres Blanches, composed of limestone-clay soils including the famous Kimmeridgian marl found on the western hills, pebbly-limestone soils or Caillottes nearer to Sancerre and flinty-clay soils found on the eastern slopes near the Loire. Fermentation is in stainless steel using naturally occurring yeasts and the resulting wines are blended to achieve the balance they are seeking.

 Girard, Pere et Fils

Girard, Pere et Fils

We tasted both white and red wines and after indulging ourselves with the full range bought a few cases of deliciously fruity, un-oaked Sauvignon and some serious-tasting, oaked Pinot Noir. We passed a very pleasant couple of hours discussing their wines and life in general before stomachs started to rumble and the church bells rang 12 noon.

Time for lunch, and we dropped back down to the river to eat at Saint Satur, at the Le Bord de Loire restaurant. The first course for us both was Salade de crottin de Chavignol grillé et jambon de Sancerre and while I selected a fine filet of beef with a Pinot Noir sauce, Marie-Chantal had local fish: Dos de sandre emincé d’artichaud étuvée de legumes. Wines were local of course, but in all the excitement I forgot to note their names!

Colin at Maison de Sancerre

Colin at Maison de Sancerre

Next stop was Sancerre itself, perched on its limestone and flint hill over 300 metres above the river Loire, a natural fortress given its first castle in the 12th C.  Through the narrow streets and in a restored 14thC house, the Maison de Sancerre is a great venue to discover the Sancerre wines and vineyards. The centre provides an overview of the geography of the wine region, its characters and winemaking techniques. A 7 Euro visit includes a glass of wine which can be enjoyed indoors or, as we did, on a sunny terrace overlooking the vineyards.

The view from the Maison de Sancerre  towards Chavignol.

The view from the Maison de Sancerre towards Chavignol.

A final glimpse of Sancerre

A final glimpse of Sancerre

Hardly believing how quickly time had passed, we hit the road again and headed back towards home, discussing what we had seen and tasted and planning another trip very soon. We would like to introduce ourselves to several more winemakers both in Sancerre and in neighbouring Pouilly-Fume and Menetou-Salon, neither of which we saw this time round. Then there’s Pouilly-sur-Loire wines made from Chasselas grapes and Coteaux du Giennois, which looked promising as we drove past on our way to the Pont de Briare.

Perhaps we should allow for a longer stay next time!

Seeking out the award winning winemakers

Loire Valley Wine Tour

Domaine de Bellevue

In last year’s World Sauvignon awards, local wines from the Touraine came away with 16 Gold Medals and a huge number of lesser titles – but I have probably already mentioned that in these pages.

This should come as no great surprise, the Loire Valley being the home of Sauvignon blanc, but we are very proud of the growers who made the effort to have their work internationally recognised.

Bellevue wines

Bellevue wines

I recently constructed a map for Google with the names and locations of all these gold medal-winners; you can find it here: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zpMMM5WEoIG0.kek7djwCKIzk

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The canal close to Bellevue

Armed with this map and a list of names and addresses, the family and I went out on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon to find one of the growers. The one we chose – Domaine de Bellevue – is close to our home and on a beautiful slope above the Canal de Berry and the river Cher at Noyers-sur-Cher.

A fourth generation wine maker (we met the fifth generation as well, two strapping young lads pleased to be following in the father’s footsteps), Patrick Vauvy is passionate about his wines. He has vines in several plots giving him a variety of soils and growing conditions to work with. In the case of Sauvignon, he likes to pick and vinify separately and blend the resulting wines to create the balance and complexity he looks for in his product. His best soil looks down on the river, faces directly south and has a sand/flint soil.

IMG-20140201-00127

Frost protection fans at Bellevue

Spring frost can be a problem here and he was the first in the region to borrow an idea from the growers of Quincy, installing a huge fan in the centre of his vines in 2004. This moves the cold air and allows warmer air to drop down and protect the flowers and delicate buds. Patrick likes to pick ripe berries resulting in wines of lower acidity; when they are at the perfect stage he picks day and night for a week to get the crop in. Another particularity of this winemaker: he prefers to use no commercial yeast, relying on the wild yeasts found naturally on the fruit. Only if the wine fails to ferment completely does he add commercially produced yeasts; the result is a wine that more closely reflects his own particular vineyard.

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Recently pruned vines at Domaine de Bellevue

Domaine de Bellevue Sauvignon 2012 – the one with the gold medal – has completely sold out now but we tasted a very lovely 2013, bottled on Christmas Eve. We also sampled, and bought, a Chardonnay, labelled Vin de Pays, because this wine grape cannot be called an AOP Touraine, and a rose made from Gamay, Cabernet franc, Cot (Malbec) and  Pineau d’Aunis. They produce a sparkling Cremant de la Loire using the Chardonnay as base wine and a whole range of reds, but these we did not taste.

After this experience we will try to visit all of the growers on my Concours Mondial du Sauvignon list and report back.

The 2013 Loire Valley pre-harvest celebrations.

Buisse at Montrichard

Paul Buisse at the Montrichard fete, serving 100% reliable Loire wines

The weather here in central France is perfect, neither too hot nor too cold.  Once the sun warms up in the morning, lifting refreshing dew from the fields, sunny days get back to the job of gently ripen the grapes. Sugar levels are slowly increasing and will be carefully monitored by the growers and winemakers; flavours are developing and concentrating. The first signs of autumn leaf colour are showing in the surrounding countryside.

Montrichard: the beach

Montrichard: the beach

It is too early to say what the 2013 harvest will bring but, after the trials and tribulations of a challenging growing season the signs are finally looking good. Soon the winemakers will be too busy to think of anything but the harvest, but just before that happens there is a flurry of little wine fairs in towns and villages throughout the region. A couple of weeks ago we attended one at the beach-side park in Montrichard, while this weekend we are looking forward to the Fête de Vin at Cheverny.

Domaine de la Girardière

Domaine de la Girardière. Patrick Leger produces excellent wines and has the medals to prove it.

The Montrichard event reminded us of why it is so important, if you have the opportunity, to taste wine before you buy it. Given that we were in the Sauvignon Blanc heartland we decided to try each of these from every vine maker at the fête, and only continue with his other offerings if the SB pleased us. One stand, surrounded by drinkers who we were assured were “experts”, did not please us one little bit and we quickly left to talk to the grower in the stand opposite. Here we found an organic vineyard producing superb Sauvignon Blanc, and many other wines in addition. We lingered, but where the only ones there for a while. We made new friends and contacts for our wine tour business, while learning a little more from each of the stands we visited.

Although only a few miles apart, the wines of Cheverny are different from the Touraine wines we tasted on that occasion. One excitement will be the opportunity to taste several wines made from the rare Romorantin grape, only used in the appellation of Cour-Cheverny. It is a Charnonnay-like variety which, in the hands of a good winemaker, produces wines similar to Chablis. A Romorantin vineyard at Domaine Henry Marionnet claims to be the oldest in France. It was planted in 1850 and somehow survived the phylloxera epidemic that devastated European vineyards in the late 19th century. In fact their current small parcel of Romorantin grapes was replanted from cuttings of the originals: they are not grafted.

As it is the 20th anniversary of the AOC Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny, we are looking forward to a great show of wines.

The Loire celebrates Sauvignon and its Concours Mondial success

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The fourth Concours Mondial du Sauvignon took place on April 26 and 27 in the spectacular setting of Château de Blois, here in the Loire Valley. The contest aims to promote wines made from the varietal by increasing awareness of the comprehensive range of Sauvignon blanc wines world wide and providing a cue for consumers at point of sale.

The Concours Mondial du Sauvignon is more than just a competition between producers and appellations. It is primarily aimed at fostering dialogue and creating a meeting point for industry specialists. Producers, wine makers, sommeliers, distributors, journalists and opinion formers from all strands of the industry – in all some 60 judges representing twenty or so nationalities (France, Belgium, England, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Chile, New Zealand…) evaluated the 807 wines entered by 22 producer countries. These included New Zealand, Chile, France, Spain and Italy, as well as countries like Greece, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia.

Here are this year’s medal winning Loire wines, representing around 45% of the total awards:

Silver Medal Ackerman Fauvettes 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Ackerman Sa (Producer)+33 2 41 53 03 10
www.ackerman.fr 
Silver Medal Alban Roblin Héritage 2011France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Alban Roblin (Producer)+33 2 48 79 31 15
 
Silver Medal André Pigeat 2012France
Val de Loire
Quincy
Domaine André Pigeat (Producer)+33 6 07 13 72 03
 
Silver Medal Arroma 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Domaine des Bessons (Producer)+33 2 47 30 09 10
 
Gold Medal Bardin Cédrick 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Bardin Cédrick (Producer)+33 3 86 39 11 24
domaine-cedrick-bardin.fr 
Silver Medal Bernard Petit et Fille 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Bernard Petit et Fille (Producer)+33 3 86 39 04 09
 
Gold Medal Biet Jean-Marc Sauvignon 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Biet Jean-marc (Producer)+33 2 54 75 34 34
www.domaine-jeanmarcbiet.com 
Silver Medal Blanc des Grandes Espérances 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Scea Domaine des Grandes Espérances (Producer)+33 2 54 70 24 72
www.grandes-esperances.fr 
Silver Medal Bouchié Chatellier – Argile à Silex 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Bouchié Chatellier (Producer)+33 3 86 39 14 01
www.bouchie-chatellier.fr 
Silver Medal Bougrier 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Sa Bougrier (Producer)+33 2 54 32 31 36
www.bougrier.fr 
Silver Medal Calcareus 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Jacques Lurton (Dealer Wine maker)
 
Silver Medal Caves de Pouilly sur Loire – La Bergerie 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Caves de Pouilly sur Loire (Producer)+33 3 86 39 10 99
www.cavespouillysurloire.com 
Gold Medal Charbonnier Sauvignon 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl Charbonnier Michel et Stéphane (Producer)+33 2 54 75 49 29
www.domainecharbonnier.fr 
Gold Medal Château de la Roche 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Scea Domaine Chainier (Producer)+33 2 47 30 73 07
 
Gold Medal Château de Pocé 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Scea Domaine Chainier (Producer)+33 2 47 30 73 07
 
Silver Medal Château de Quinçay Ante Vinum 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Gaec Château de Quincay (Producer)+33 2 54 71 00 11
www.chateaudequincay.com 
Silver Medal Château de Tracy 2011France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Sarl Château de Tracy (Producer)+33 3 86 26 15 12
www.chateau-de-tracy.com 
Gold Medal Château de Vallagon 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Confrérie des Vignerons de Oisly & Thesée (Producer)+33 2 54 79 55 20
 
Silver Medal Château Favray 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Château Favray (Producer)+33 3 86 26 19 05
www.chateau-favray.com 
Gold Medal Cuvée Olivier Domaine de la Bergeonnière 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl Bodin – Domaine de la Bergeonnière (Producer)+33 2 54 71 70 43
www.labergeommiere.cm 
Gold Medal David Sautereau 2012France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Sautereau David Scea (Producer)+33 2 48 79 42 52
 
Silver Medal Domaine André Vatan Les Charmes 2012France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
André Vatan (Producer)+ 33 2 48 79 33 07
 
Special Trophy Domaine André Vatan Saint François 2011France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
André Vatan (Producer)+ 33 2 48 79 33 07
 
Gold Medal Domaine Bellevue 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl Vauvy Domaine Bellevue (Producer)+33 2 54 71 42 73
www.domainebellevue.fr 
Gold Medal Domaine Bizet 2012France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Earl Domaine Bizet (Producer)+33 2 48 79 34 43
 
Gold Medal Domaine Bonnard 2012France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Domaine Bonnard (Producer)+33 2 48 54 17 47
 
Silver Medal Domaine Charbonnier Sauvignon Vieilles Vignes 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl Charbonnier Michel et Stéphane (Producer)+33 2 54 75 49 29
www.domainecharbonnier.fr 
Silver Medal Domaine Chauveau 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Domaine Chauveau (Producer)+33 3 86 39 15 42
www.domaine-chauveau.com 
Silver Medal Domaine Davaux Simoneau 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl Davaux Simoneau (Producer)
 
Gold Medal Domaine de Breugnon 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Earl Domaine de Breugnon (Producer)+33 3 86 26 18 19
 
Silver Medal Domaine de Chevilly Cuvée Tradition 2012France
Val de Loire
Quincy
Domaine de Chevilly (Producer)+33 2 48 52 80 45
 
Gold Medal Domaine de Cray 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl Antoine Antier (Producer)+33 2 47 45 05 05
 
Gold Medal Domaine de la Bougrie 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Scev la Bougrie (Producer)+33 2 41 78 86 21
 
Silver Medal Domaine de la Chaise 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Davault Christophe – Domaine de la Chaise (Producer)+33 2 54 71 53 08
www.domaine-de-la-chaise-41.com 
Silver Medal Domaine de la Coche 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Scea Domaine de la Coche (Producer)+33 2 40 02 44 43
www.domainedelacoche.com 
Silver Medal Domaine de la Girardière 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Domaine de la Girardière (Producer)+33 2 54 75 42 44
www.domainedelagirardiere.com 
Silver Medal Domaine de la Jolive – Le Clos Roche Cuvée Prestige 2011France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Domaine de la Jolive (Producer)+33 2 48 79 35 10
 
Silver Medal Domaine de la Renaudie Chenonceaux 2011France
Val de Loire
Touraine Chenonceaux
Domaine de la Renaudie (Producer)+33 2 54 75 18 72
www.domainerenaudie.com 
Silver Medal Domaine de la Renaudie Sauvignon 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Domaine de la Renaudie (Producer)+33 2 54 75 18 72
www.domainerenaudie.com 
Gold Medal Domaine de la Renne 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Domaine de la Renne (Producer)+33 2 54 71 72 79
www.domainedelarenne.fr 
Silver Medal Domaine de la Roche 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl du Domaine de la Roche (Producer)+33 2 54 32 39 61
 
Silver Medal Domaine de la Rochette Sauvignon 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Domaine de la Rochette (Producer)+33 2 54 71 44 02
www.vin-rochette-leclair.com 
Gold Medal Domaine de Priou Grains d’Or 2011France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Domaine Priou Earl (Producer)+33 2 54 71 72 58
 
Gold Medal Domaine des Caillots 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Domaine des Caillots (Producer)+33 2 54 32 27 07
 
Silver Medal Domaine des Coltabards 2012France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Domaine des Coltabards (Producer)+33 2 48 78 54 54
 
Gold Medal Domaine des Coudereaux Jean Paul Godinat 2012France
Val de Loire
Quincy
Scea Les Coudereaux (Producer)+33 2 48 64 88 88
 
Silver Medal Domaine des Echardières Sauvignon Blanc 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Luc Poullain – Domaine des Echardières (Producer)+33 2 54 71 46 66
www.domaine-echardieres.com 
Silver Medal Domaine des Eléphants 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl Boucher (Producer)+33 6 81 22 51 34
www.domainedeselephants.com 
Gold Medal Domaine des Emois 2012France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Scea des Emois (Producer)+33 2 48 78 54 54
 
Silver Medal Domaine des Fines Caillottes 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Domaine Jean Pabiot et Fils Scea (Producer)+33 3 86 39 10 25
www.jean-pabiot.com 
Silver Medal Domaine des Levrys 2012France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Vignoble Angel SIDM (Producer)+33 2 48 69 58 07
 
Silver Medal Domaine des Souterrains Sauvignon 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Domaine des Souterrains (Producer)+33 2 54 71 02 94
 
Silver Medal Domaine des Trois Noyers 2011France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Reverdy Cadet (Producer)+33 2 48 79 38 54
 
Gold Medal Domaine Desloges 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Cyril des Loges (Producer)+33 2 54 71 41 54
 
Gold Medal Domaine du Coudray 2012France
Val de Loire
Quincy
Domaine du Coudray (Producer)+33 2 48 55 62 80
www.domaineducoudray.com 
Silver Medal Domaine du Haut Perron Sauvignon 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Domaine Guy Allion (Producer)+33 2 54 71 48 01
 
Silver Medal Domaine François Cartier Sauvignon Blanc 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl Domaine François Cartier (Producer)+33 2 54 71 51 54
 
Special Trophy Domaine Gibault 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
EARL Gibault Pascal & Danielle (Producer)+33 2 52 75 36 52
 
Silver Medal Domaine Gibault Evasion 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
EARL Gibault Pascal & Danielle (Producer)+33 2 52 75 36 52
 
Silver Medal Domaine Guenault 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Sa Bougrier (Producer)+33 2 54 32 31 36
www.bougrier.fr 
Gold Medal Domaine Masson Blondelet 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Domaine Masson-Blondelet SAS (Producer)+33 3 86 39 00 34
www.masson-blondelet.com 
Silver Medal Domaine Matthias & Emile Roblin – Enclos de Maimbray 2012France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Domaine Matthias & Emile Roblin (Producer)+33 2 48 79 48 85
www.sancerre-roblin.com 
Silver Medal Domaine Michaud Sauvignon 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl Michaud (Producer)+33 2 54 32 47 23
www.domainemichaud.com 
Silver Medal Domaine Pascal Belier Sélection 2012France
Val de Loire
Cheverny
Domaine Pascal Bellier (Producer)+33 2 54 20 64 31
www.vinsbellier.fr 
Gold Medal Domaine Philippe Portier 2012France
Val de Loire
Quincy
Philippe Portier (Producer)+33 2 48 51 04 47
www.philippe-portier.com 
Silver Medal Domaine Pré Baron 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl Guy Mardon (Producer)+33 2 54 79 52 87
www.domaineprebaron.com 
Silver Medal Domaine Raimbault Pineau 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Domaine Raimbault Pineau (Producer)+33 2 48 79 33 04
 
Silver Medal Domaine Seguin 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Domaine Seguin (Producer)+33 3 86 39 10 75
 
Silver Medal Earl de la Commanderie 2012France
Val de Loire
Quincy
Earl de la Commanderie (Producer)+33 2 48 51 30 16
 
Silver Medal Emile Balland – Le Grand Chemin 2011France
Val de Loire
Coteaux du Giennois
Balland Emile (Producer)+33 3 86 39 26 51
 
Silver Medal Fabel Barbou 2011France
Val de Loire
Touraine Oisly
Earl Barbou (Producer)+33 2 54 79 52 75
 
Silver Medal Gérard Bigonneau 2012France
Val de Loire
Quincy
Earl Bigonneau (Producer)+33 48 52 80 22
 
Gold Medal Henri Bourgeois – La Chapelle des Augustins 2011France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Sas Henri Bourgeois (Producer)+33 2 48 78 53 20
www.henribourgeois.com 
Gold Medal Henri Bourgeois – Les Baronnes 2012France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Sas Henri Bourgeois (Producer)+33 2 48 78 53 20
www.henribourgeois.com 
Silver Medal Jacques Rouzé Cuvée Tradition 2012France
Val de Loire
Quincy
Jacques Rouzé (Producer)+33 2 48 51 35 61
 
Silver Medal Jean Michel Sorbe 2012France
Val de Loire
Reuilly
Jean Michel Sorbe (Producer)+33 2 48 51 30 17
www.jconmichelsorbe.com 
Silver Medal Joseph Mellot – La Chatellenie 2012France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Joseph Mellot (Producer)+33 2 48 78 54 51
www.josephmellot.com 
Silver Medal Joseph Mellot – La Gaupière 2012France
Val de Loire
Coteaux du Giennois
Joseph Mellot (Producer)+33 2 48 78 54 51
www.josephmellot.com 
Silver Medal La Croix du Pin 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Scea Plou Et Fils (Producer)+33 2 47 30 55 17
www.plouetfils.com 
Silver Medal La Tentation Sauvignon 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Earl Vignoble Delaunay (Producer)+33 2 40 33 86 84
www.domaine-delaunay.fr 
Silver Medal Le Courlis 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Clos du Porteau (Producer)+33 2 54 32 06 31
 
Silver Medal Le Moulin de la Touche 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Earl Le Moulin de la Touche (Producer)
www.lemoulindelatouche.com 
Silver Medal Les Beaumonts 2012France
Val de Loire
Reuilly
Earl du Bourdonnat (Producer)+33 6 71 90 66 43
 
Silver Medal Les Criottes 2012France
Val de Loire
Menetou-Salon
Ackerman Sa (Producer)+33 2 41 53 03 10
www.ackerman.fr 
Gold Medal Levin Sauvignon Blanc 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Sarl Levin (Producer)+33 2 54 32 92 49
www.domainelevin.fr 
Silver Medal Lionel Gosseaume Climat N°1 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Gosseaume Lionel (Producer)+33 2 54 71 55 02
www.lionelgosseaume.fr 
Silver Medal Marc Deschamps – Les Champs de Cri 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Deschamps Marc (Producer)+33 3 86 39 16 79
 
Silver Medal Michel Laurent 2012France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Joseph Verdier Sa (Producer)+33 2 41 40 22 50
www.joseph-verdier.fr 
Gold Medal Mister L Sauvignon Blanc 2011France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Sarl Levin (Producer)+33 2 54 32 92 49
www.domainelevin.fr 
Gold Medal Moulin des Aigremonts 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Scea Cellier du Beaujardin (Producer)+33 2 47 57 91 04
www.vin-touraine-cellierdubeaujardin.com 
Silver Medal Petit Villebois Sauvignon Blanc 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Villebois (Producer)+33 2 54 32 80 62
www.villebois.eu 
Gold Medal Phillo 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Les Pierres d’Aurèle (Producer)+33 2 54 75 94 73
www.lespierresdaurele.com 
Silver Medal Prestige d’Octavie 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Domaine Octavie (Producer)+33 2 54 79 54 57
www.domaineoctavie.com 
Gold Medal Rémy Pannier Sauvignon 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Ackerman Sa (Producer)+33 2 41 53 03 10
www.ackerman.fr 
Gold Medal Réthoré Davy 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Scea Réthoré Davy (Producer)+33 2 41 30 12 58
 
Silver Medal Roches-Linières 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Sas Castel Frères (Dealer Wine maker)+33 494 73 56 73
www.groupe-castel.com 
Silver Medal Roland Tissier & Fils – Cuvée Saint Benoît 2011France
Val de Loire
Sancerre
Roland Tissier (Producer)+33 2 48 54 02 93
 
Silver Medal Saget la Perrière La Grande Pièce 2012France
Val de Loire
Pouilly Fumé
Saget la Perrière (Producer)+33 3 86 39 57 75
www.sagetlaperriere.com 
Gold Medal Sauvignon Domaine de la Bergeonnière 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Earl Bodin – Domaine de la Bergeonnière (Producer)+33 2 54 71 70 43
www.labergeommiere.cm 
Gold Medal Sauvignon Magali Metenier 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Metenier Magali (Producer)+33 3 86 26 17 06
 
Silver Medal Sens’S Domaine des Pierrettes 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Domaine des Pierrettes (Producer)+33 2 54 20 98 44
 
Gold Medal Thierry Delaunay 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Sarl Joel Delaunay (Producer)
 
Silver Medal Vignoble Cogné Sauvignon 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Scev Cogné Claude (Producer)+33 2 40 83 73 16
www.vignoblecogne.fr 
Silver Medal Vignoble Cogné Sauvignon Cuvée del Ys 2012France
Val de Loire
IGP Val de Loire
Scev Cogné Claude (Producer)+33 2 40 83 73 16
www.vignoblecogne.fr 
Gold Medal Vignoble Gibault Sauvignon 2012France
Val de Loire
Touraine
Vignoble Gibault (Producer)+33 2 54 71 02 63
www.vignoblegibault.com

Loire shows off Sauvignon

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Loire Sauvignon Blanc came under the spotlight at Vinexpo this week as Jamie Goode presented a masterclass to highlight the region’s growing expertise with this grape variety.

The event featured a 14-strong selection of wines chosen from this year’s medal winners at the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon, which saw the Loire awarded 45% of the total medals from a field of 16 Sauvignon Blanc-producing countries.

“Sauvignon Blanc is a variety that can deliver precise wines with very good concentration of flavour,” recalled Goode of the qualities that he and the rest of the international judging panel rewarded. “You’re looking for the usual things of balance and definition and also wines that are commercially relevant.”

As for the refined selection on show at this Vinexpo masterclass, Goode explained: “We put together a range of styles and wines with unique expressions that together told a story.”

These included examples from across the region, including Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerre, Quincy, Touraine and the IGP Val de Loire, all from the 2012 vintage, which Goode summed up as “a very good, precise vintage in the Loire.”

Having written his own book on the variety, The Science of Sauvignon Blanc, Goode described the grape as “fascinating”, noting: “of all the grape varieties in the world, more scientific work has been done on Sauvignon Blanc than any other.”

Among the benefits of this research has been a greater understanding of compounds including methoxypyrazines, which are responsible for the variety’s characteristic grassy aroma; monoterpenes, which contribute its floral expression; and polyfunctional thiols which create the passionfruit character that is particularly associated with Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Summing up the effect of these combined influences in Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire, Goode remarked: “What the Loire seems to be able to do is wines that have ripeness while retaining some of that greenness as well.”

Goode also highlighted the important work carried out in the Loire by consultant Sam Harrop MW as he pointed to the steady “fine-tuning” of viticulture and vinification seen across the region, which is resulting in a consistent level of high quality wines.

In short, he concluded: “The Loire can produce wines that are the best expression of Sauvignon Blanc you can get. Even at the bottom end you get really characterful wines at prices no-one else can match.”

Goode is due to host a further masterclass on Loire Sauvignon Blanc in London later this year.

Great value Loire wines

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I was delighted to read that the “Best Vallue Wine of the Month” in Decanter magazine is from the Loire Valley.

Their selection in the March edition of the magazine included red and white wines from Italy, Argentina, Spain, South Africa, Chile and France, all currently available from the UK’s high street and independent wine merchants. The outright winner this month was from Domaine du Salvard, AOC Cheverny.

The vineyard has won a number of prestigeous awards in recent years (Gold Medal IWC last year) and are helping to fly the flag for this lesser know appellation. Decanter describes the Sauvignon Blanc / Chardonnay blend as: “punchy, minerally and steely, with an overlying freshness and fine fruit intensity”. Sounds exactly like a Loire wine to us!