I’ve just been looking at the award winners in Imbibe’s Sommelier awards and a few Loire wines did very well:
Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Blanc, 2010, Loire, France
An accomplished, complex Sancerre, with a fine mix of smoke, minerals, soft white fruits, elderflower and citrus notes on the nose. ‘Mineral palate of lemon zest and stones, with a lengthy finish and good balance,’ said Tom Forrest, Vinopolis, adding ‘Waxy notes, apples in the background’. ‘Classical Sancerre – elegant and refined,’ said Louise Gordon, Rib Room at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel. Try with prawn cocktail, or seafood.
£15.00 Stevens Garnier Wine Agency http://www.stevensgarnier.co.uk
Laporte Le Rochoy Sancerre Blanc, 2010, Loire, France
With classic Sancerre notes of gooseberry, fresh cut grass and hay, minerals and – of course – cats pee on the nose, this shows a fine acidity and complexity on the palate – think stone fruit, apples, pears and zippy gooseberries – and a medium finish. Goat’s cheese salad was the popular match.
£12.75 Laporte http://www.laporte-sancerre.com
La Cabriole Saumur Blanc, 2010, Loire, France
With a grassy note on the nose, this starts restrained and elegant, continuing to a youthful, dry, green apple and citrus-infused palate with breezy acidity. ‘Lovely minerality with some depth,’ said Fionnuala Synnott, Pollen Street Social. ‘A lot of white pepper on the palate,’ said Northcote’s Adam Pawlowski, adding ‘Serve as an aperitif, or with fish, shellfish or salads.’
£6.35 Enotria http://www.enotria.co.uk
Domaine Vacheron Le Paradis Sancerre Blanc, 2010, Loire, France
With plenty of citrusy length on the palate, the judges liked the lemon zest and apple flavours, hints of stony minerals and grassy notes. ‘Smoked bacon, steely nuttiness, lanolin and grapefruit,’ noted Diego Muntoni, OXO Tower Restaurant. Might well have gone further, aside from the price.
£23.00 Stevens Garnier Wine Agency http://www.stevensgarnier.co.uk
Domaine des Marnières Cheverny Blanc, 2010, Loire, France
A textured – and many would say, textbook – Sauvignon, this has fresh green characters of Granny Smith, zippy nettley aromas, gooseberry and lime with a streak of minerality. With its soft juicy palate and nice finish, Hamish Anderson’s The Tate Group, called it ‘Good entry point stuff.’
£7.18 Berkmann Wine Cellars http://www.berkmann.co.uk
Hubert Brochard Pouilly-Fumé, 2010, Loire, France
With flint and gunsmoke on the restrained herbaceous nose, there’s ‘oranges and satsumas, apricots and peaches on a zingy palate’, said Igor Sotric, China Tang at The Dorchester Hotel. ‘Quite a classic style,’ said consultant Angela Reddin, adding ‘the subtle flavours and definition are excellent.’
£9.50 Greene King http://www.greeneking.co.uk
Bouchié-Chatellier Premier Millésimé Pouilly-Fumé, 2010, Loire, France
Plenty of texture and complexity with this expresive wine. An opulent nose of white peach with herbal hints, the palate shows a fine minerality and good, lengthy finish. Already good, would some bottle age help it open up and evolve more?
£11.75 Boutinot Ltd http://www.boutinot.com
Eric Louis La Côte Blanche Sancerre Rouge, 2010, Loire, France
Pale garnet in colour, this boasts light earthy aromas of red fruits, with a fine flourish of red cherries and berries on the palate, rose petals, fresh acidity and moderate tannins. ‘Elegant and light,’ commented Mariyana Radulova, Royal Thames Yacht Club.
£11.50 Bibendum Wine http://www.bibendum-wine.co.uk
Les Vignerons du Pallet, Château des Templiers Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie, 2009, Loire, France
Bright and tangy, as Muscadet should be, with pear fruit on the nose, and a zesty, fresh palate with a dash of perfume. ‘Good minerality on the mid-palate and a breezy finish,’ said Jade Koch, consultant.
£5.00 Cavendish Wines http://www.cavendishwines.com
Philippe Girard Silex Sancerre Blanc, 2010, Loire, France
‘Green aromas of gooseberry and grass lead to a rounded mineral palate with some ripeness and tropical fruit on this zippy Sancerre,’ said Vinopolis’ Tom Forrest. ‘A strong mineral dryness leads to a refreshing length.’
£10.40 Boutinot Ltd http://www.boutinot.com
Les Coteaux Tufiers Vouvray Demi-Sec, 2009, Loire, France
After an attractive, sweet jasmine and honey perfumed nose, the palate is juicy and vibrant, with apricot, passionfruit and peach, plus good minerality. ‘Could be more complex, but fun as it is,’ said consultant Jade Koch.
£5.65 Boutinot Ltd http://www.boutinot.com
Domaine Tinel-Blondelet Pouilly-Fumé, 2011, Loire, France
Aromas of cooking apples mix with Turkish Delight and herbal notes on the nose, leading to a palate with ripe apples and pears, punchy acidity, an elegant minerality and a long finish. Available to the UK on-trade via Jascots Wine Merchants.
£11.80 Jascots Wine Merchants http://www.jascots.co.uk
Domaine Pellé Le Silex du Carroir Menetou-Salon Morogues, 2010, Loire, France
‘Lovely clean scents, herbaceous hints and a flinty top note lead through to excellent layering in the mouth,’ said consultant Angela Reddin, adding that it ‘manages to be crunchy and smooth at the same time – great finish.’
£11.95 Boutinot Ltd http://www.boutinot.com
Many thanks to Imbibe.com for this fascinating insight.