October 27, 2011

Wines from The Loire Valley

I recently started paying more attention to wines of the The Loire Valley in France. The Loire Valley is a rather diverse wine area with a history of producing crisp, fresh, and often unadulterated wines that speak of a place and taste like the land. The most prevalent Loire Valley wine varietals are Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc for white wines; and Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Gamay for the reds.

Recently, I opened both the 2009 Vouvray "Le Bouchet" from Francois Chidaine. The village of Vouvray white wines are exclusively Chenin Blanc, and they can vary from bone dry to sparkling to dessert-like sweet wines. This one from Chidaine was rather sweet and viscous upfront, but showed a decent amount crunchy acidity. A wine that can for a long while in bottle.

I also recently tried a Pinot Noir/Gamay blend from Domaine du Moulin, produced by Herve Villemade, who makes biodynamic wines from grapes crushed the old fashioned way: by foot. The 2009 shows even more depth than the 2008 right now, depsite its youth. A truly interesting and vibrant wine with and energy and audacity that will make you swear off mass-produced, over-oaked American supermarket wines in a hurry. Oh yeah, it costs about $15.

The nice thing about many of the Loire Valley wines, both reds and whites, is that they are very good, age-worthy wines and can be bought for around $20. If you have not tried Loire Valley wines;  you must.

2 comments:

  1. Love the 08 Chidaines that I have, yes, a touch sweet but balanced really well with some nice acidity and depth.

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  2. Thanks for the comment Brad.
    I could see myself becoming a Loire-head. Great stuff and the tariff isn't painful.

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