Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2010: LOIRE WINES

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2010: LOIRE WINES

Post #1  Postby Tony V e l e b i l » February 12th 2010, 9:19am

Todd asked for Ideas in the Idea Pit thread over in Asylum. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=17754

My thought was to dedicate one week a month to exploring wines from different regions, same grape varietals but from different regions (such as Cabernet from South America), or even more specific vintage tastings like 2002 Napa Cabernet. Right now, my thought is to keep a little more generic so that many people can participate. Ultimately the goal is to have fun, drink some interesting and maybe new wines, have lively discussion and maybe, just maybe learn something.

With that, during the week of the event, you are encouraged to open wines that relate to the theme and post your notes. I would ask that when you post your notes you include: price, retailer purchased (if you can remember), importer information (if imported and available) and any information on the winery/domaine that you can find. Also, if you know anyone that is an expert in the wines being discussed, please invite them in to the discussion.

For future Berserker exploration weeks, I will be open to suggestion from everyone on themes and how to improve the "Berserker Exploration"!! If you are on Facebook, please post the link to the thread (Todd assures me it will be "stickied").

So, without any further ado, I will kick off week #1 with the theme being LOIRE wines. Easily available, can be inexpensive and includes Bubbly, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and sweet wines.

If anyone needs producer recommendations, please PM and I'll see if I can help. Otherwise, just wander into your local wine shop and peruse the aisles and pick up a couple of Loire wines...now let's get to Exploring.

Here's some information on Loire wines from Wikipedia.

THE LOIRE

Appellations: Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, Anjou, Saumur, Vouvray, Touraine, Chinon, and Muscadet to name a few.

The Loire Valley wine region includes the French wine regions situated along the Loire River from the Muscadet region near the city of Nantes on the Atlantic coast to the region of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé just southeast of the city of Orléans in north central France. In between are the regions of Anjou, Saumur, Bourgueil, Chinon, and Vouvray. The Loire Valley itself follows the river through the Loire province to the river's origins in the Cévennes but the majority of the wine production takes place in the regions noted above. The area includes 87 appellations under the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), Vin Délimité de Qualité Superieure (VDQS) and Vin de pays systems. While the majority of production is white wine from the Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc and Melon de Bourgogne grapes, there are red wines made (especially around the Chinon region) from Cabernet franc. In addition to still wines, rosé, sparkling and dessert wines are also produced. With Crémant production throughout the Loire, it is the second largest sparkling wine producer in France after Champagne.[1] Among these different wine styles, Loire wines tend to exhibit characteristic fruitiness with fresh, crisp flavors-especially in their youth. [2]The Loire Valley has a long history of winemaking dating back to the 1st century. In the High Middle Ages, the wines of the Loire Valley were the most esteemed wines in England and France, even more prized than those from Bordeaux.[3]

Grapes and Wines

The white wines of the Coteaux du Layon, Montlouis-sur-Loire, Savennières, and Vouvray are based on Chenin blanc and are known for their high acidity when young and ability to develop and age well. The villages of Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire are known for their crisp and herbaceous Sauvignon blancs. Some producers in the area are experimenting with oak aging their Sauvignon blanc to give them more rounder and softer appeal. The villages of Bourgueil, Chinon and Saumur are known for their Cabernet franc based wines that range from light and fruity in Saumur to rich and velvety in Chinon. The Muscadet wines from the Pays de la Loire are made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape and are known for their citrus and mineral notes.[2]

In addition to the main production grapes, several local grapes are also used to make wine in smaller quantities. These include the Tressallier grape of Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, the Romorantin of Cheverny, the Pineau menu and Groslot of Touraine and the Gros Plant of Nantes. There is also some plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gamay, Malbec, Pineau d'aunis, and Pinot gris, Pinot noir.[2]

A characteristic of many Loire wines (both red and white) is the high acidity which highlights the fresh, crisp flavors of their youth only to go through a "dumb phase" between 2 to 5 years of age when the wines flavors are drastically toned down. Many of the better made examples come out of this period with their full palate of flavors and can continue to age well into 20 years. Some of the Sauvignon blanc based wines like Sancerre buck this trend and instead stay more low key till their third year when they mature and develop their full assortment of flavors before they eventually fade around their 7-10th year. However the best made examples in top vintages can often live much longer.[2] Some classic examples of Vouvray can even reach the levels of longevity commonly associated with Port.[11]

Wine Regions

Sancerre & Pouilly-Fume
Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir are the principle grapes of this region that is centered around the appellation of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. The two towns of Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire (where Pouilly-Fumé is made) sit on opposite sides of the Loire river with Sancerre being about 10 miles (16 km) to the northwest of Pouilly. The Fumé is said to come from the silex flint interspersed with the limestone in the area that can give a smoky gunflint note to the wine. Another possibility for the name is the early morning fog created by the Loire river that can blanket the vineyards. Wines labeled with just Pouilly are often made from the Chasselas grape.[6]

Unlike many areas of France, the Sancerre region is heavily mechanized with the use of mechanical harvesting rather than hand pickers. One of the best known producers in the region is Didier Dageneau who, until his tragic deathin 2008, was an influential voice in the area advocating the reduction of yields and the use of organic viticulture.[5] Pouilly-Fumé only produces white wines while Sancerre produces red, white and rosé wines. The white Sauvignon blanc based wines from this region has characteristic gooseberry and grapefruit flavors with the Pouilly-Fumé version typically being more full bodied and rich in texture. The red Pinot noir wines are very light in both body and color that are not very similar to other French expression of the grape like those in Burgundy. Smaller appellations in the region include-[2]
Menetou-Salon - White, red and rosé
Quincy - White wine
Reuilly - White, red and rosé
The region was under the influence of the Duchy of Burgundy for most of its history which partly the reason why plantings were once heavily dominated by the Pinot noir grape. The Phylloxera epidemic of the 19th century altered that dynamic when many of the Pinot noir vineyards were wiped out by the louse. In their place, plantings of the easier to cultivate Sauvignon blanc vine began to increase. While there are still isolated batches of Pinot noir in the region, Sauvignon blanc is now the most heavily planted.[7]

Anjou and Saumur

The Anjou region of the Middle Loire is situated around the town of Angers and is known primarily for the rosé wines based on the Cabernet franc grape-including the Rosé d'Anjou and the Cabernet d'Anjou. White wine made from the Chenin blanc is known as Anjou Blanc while Anjou Rouge is often made from Gamay. Some of the higher quality wines are often labeled with the AOC designation Anjou-Villages.[5] The Chenin blanc grape has been planted in the region since at least 845 AD when it was planted at the Abbey of Glanfeuil. Throughout the years it was known in the region under a variety of synonyms including Pineau de la Loire and Franc-blanc.[8]

The area around Saumur is the third largest sparkling wine appellation in France after the Champagne region and the Crémant d'Alsace AOC with more than 12 million bottles of Saumur Mousseux produced each year. Unlike Champagne which is made with Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier, Saumur sparkling wine is based on the Chenin blanc grape. The area around Saumur-Champigny produces red wine based on the Cabernet franc grape that is similar in profile to the wines produced in St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil.[2]

Vouvray and Touraine

The region around Vouvray, Montlouis-sur-Loire and Touraine has some of the most diverse plantings of all the Loire region and makes a wide variety of white, red and rosé wines. For white wines the main grape is Chenin blanc but Sauvignon blanc and (to a smaller extent) Chardonnay is also planted. For red wines the main grape is Cabernet franc with some smaller plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay and Malbec. The rosé wines are made from an assortment of Gamay, Pineau d'aunis, Pinot gris and Pinot noir. The villages of Vouvray and Montlouis are the largest appellations in the region and make only white wines from Chenin blanc. The wines can vary in sweetness from bone dry (often appearing as sec on the wine label) to very sweet moelleux wines that are often infected by noble rot.[2]

For years the Touraine region would compete with the Beaujolais region for the release of an early bottling of Gamay that would rival the Beaujolais nouveau. While the competition is not so much of a focal point now, there are still some producers who release early bottlings of the wine around the same time as Beaujolais. The soil around the Touraine area is a variety of limestone with excellent drainage that is known as tuffeau which is the same material used to build many of the famous Loire Valley Châteaux.[5]

Muscadet

The Muscadet region is located at the westernmost edge of the Loire Valley near the city of Nantes. In the 17th century, Dutch wine merchants laid the foundation for the Muscadet style by encouraging the villagers of Nantes to plant the early ripening Melon de Bourgogne grape to use in the production of their brandewijn-distilled wine with brandy added to it.[4] Following the devastation in 1709 of winter frost to many of the vineyards in the Loire-Atlantique, King Louis XIV ordered that the frost resistant Muscadet grape be given preferential treatment in the replanting of the area. Despite the inference of "Muskiness" in its name, Muscadet is a neutral flavor wine and the Melon de Bourgogne grape has no relation to the Muscat family of grapes.[10] The area's four appellation all produces white wine made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape.[5] The appellations are-
Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine
Muscadet-Côtes de Grand Lieu
Muscadet-Coteaux de la Loire
Muscadet- A generic appellation covering the whole of the Loire-Atlantique department.
The wines of the Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine and Muscadet-Côtes de Grand Lieu appellation are often bottled sur lie straight from the tank that they are fermented in without any racking or filtering. This create wines that can be very cloudy and require decanting to remove sediments but also produces wines that can be fuller bodied and show extra dimensions of freshness.[2]
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #2  Postby mike.m » February 12th 2010, 9:25am

I think that this is an AWESOME idea Tony! And adds a nice unique touch to the BB.

One question, do we all post notes all in one thread, or just put LOIRE WEEK in the title of each individual note or something?

Again, great idea. I will try to participate!
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #3  Postby Tony V e l e b i l » February 12th 2010, 9:30am

Mike - great question. Right now I am leaning to keeping the notes here just so they are aggregated but I am open to doing separate threads for each note. But only if people follow this format for their headers: BERSERKER LOIRE WEEK: vintage and wine information
As I said, what does everyone think? I am open to suggestion.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #4  Postby Bud Carey » February 12th 2010, 9:33am

I'd rather read all of the notes in one thread. If you do that, you can 'sticky' the thread so it doesn't roll off of the page, like individual notes would.

Just my .02
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #5  Postby mike.m » February 12th 2010, 9:34am

My only concern about one main thread is that it might me messy as shit to read. A lot of side conversations and what not.

Any way our Mods can get off their lazy asses newhere and create a sub-forum for a week calle BERSERKER LOIRE WEEK and just have everyone post in there, then archive that?

I have no idea how that would/could be done. But like on the eBob site, when they have special guests. Create a sub forum. then they all get put into a special guest archive.

Something like that maybe?
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #6  Postby Tony V e l e b i l » February 12th 2010, 9:36am

Mike - that is a great idea. I forgot they did that "over there". Todd and the Mods, what say you?
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Post #7  Postby G. D y e r » February 12th 2010, 9:37am

Exciting! I'm trying to learn about Chenin Blancs, but already have an unhealthy obsession with Cab Francs. This would be like a regular week for me . . . .
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #8  Postby Alan C h a n » February 12th 2010, 10:02am

Tony, this is a great idea - this is a region I've already been planning to delve deeper into this year. I'm in!
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Post #9  Postby G. D y e r » February 12th 2010, 10:08am

Serge Birbrair wrote:
G. D y e r wrote:Exciting! I'm trying to learn about Chenin Blancs, but already have an unhealthy obsession with Cab Francs. This would be like a regular week for me . . . .


wait 'til you put your hands on aged Muscadet!!!! What a paradigm changer!


I need a larger storage space so I can try some of these long-term experiments! I fear a Muscadet would succumb in its youth to a "let's have a white that's not too expensive" moment due a lack of other options. Plus I have too many Cab Francs taking up space as mid/long term projects . . . .
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #10  Postby Todd F r e n c h » February 12th 2010, 10:12am

G. D y e r wrote:Exciting! I'm trying to learn about Chenin Blancs, but already have an unhealthy obsession with Cab Francs. This would be like a regular week for me . . . .

My wife and I also love Cab Franc, Greg...this is a good choice, Tony, for the launch of Berserker Wine Exploration Week
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #11  Postby Randy Sloan » February 12th 2010, 10:22am

Great idea and great first choice. I know so little about Loire wines. I'm looking forward to learning and participating. When we used to do these theme weeks on another forum (Winodepot?), the person who chose a theme would choose the next person in line.

I prefer a sticky with all the TNs in one thread over having a separate forum section.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #12  Postby Tony V e l e b i l » February 12th 2010, 10:25am

Randy Sloan wrote:Great idea and great first choice. I know so little about Loire wines. I'm looking forward to learning and participating. When we used to do these theme weeks on another forum (Winodepot?), the person who chose a theme would choose the next person in line.

I prefer a sticky with all the TNs in one thread over having a separate forum section.


Randy - Paul Marcus Wines has a pretty good amount of Loire wines.

I think we are leaning to keeping it in one thread for now. Easier for people to find if they come to the bulletin board.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #13  Postby Todd F r e n c h » February 12th 2010, 10:26am

Randy Sloan wrote:Great idea and great first choice. I know so little about Loire wines. I'm looking forward to learning and participating. When we used to do these theme weeks on another forum (Winodepot?), the person who chose a theme would choose the next person in line.

I prefer a sticky with all the TNs in one thread over having a separate forum section.

GREAT idea, Randy (or Winodepot) - Tony, choose the next person in line when this is all said and done. I think the participation in the thread will allow you to use it as a recruiting tool.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #14  Postby Tony V e l e b i l » February 12th 2010, 10:27am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
Randy Sloan wrote:Great idea and great first choice. I know so little about Loire wines. I'm looking forward to learning and participating. When we used to do these theme weeks on another forum (Winodepot?), the person who chose a theme would choose the next person in line.

I prefer a sticky with all the TNs in one thread over having a separate forum section.

GREAT idea, Randy (or Winodepot) - Tony, choose the next person in line when this is all said and done. I think the participation in the thread will allow you to use it as a recruiting tool.


Will do.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #15  Postby Nathan V. » February 12th 2010, 11:48am

If you want to learn about Loire wines, I would suggest breaking them up into regions and doing it one at a time. The soils, climate, and grapes sued can vary widely.

Also, the best source for Loire wines on the intertubes is Chambers St. Wines.

I would suggest:

Week 1
Chinon/Bourgueil/Saumur
Producers: Baudry, Breton, Alliet, Joguet, Clos Rougeard, Filliatreau, Ch. Coulaine

Week 2
Touraine Red (incl. Cheverny, and Coteaux de Loir (without e, up near Jasnieres)).
Morantin, Tue-Boeuf, Puzelat, Lemasson, Belliviere,

Week 3
Vouvray/Montlouis/Savennieres/Jasnieres/Anjou
Huet, Foreau, Chidaine, Pinon, Delatang, Angeli, Baumard, Closel, Belliviere, Mosse, Pithon, Tijou

Week 4
Touraine white/Sancerre/Pouilly Fume
Morantin, Tue-Boeuf, Puzelat, Cazin, Vatan, Cotat, Crochet, Deschamps, Dageneau, Thomas-Labaille

Week 5
Muscadet
Pepiere, Luneau-Papin, Bossard, Landron,

List is non-exhaustive and vlm-centric. I'd sprinkle in a bubbly or Moelleux wine instead of concentrating on them.

No affiliation with Chambers, but everything they have from the Loire is expertly chosen. David Lillie goes every year and tastes diligently, much more so than I do.

Good luck. Should be fun.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #16  Postby Tony V e l e b i l » February 12th 2010, 11:53am

Nathan V. wrote:If you want to learn about Loire wines, I would suggest breaking them up into regions and doing it one at a time. The soils, climate, and grapes sued can vary widely.

Also, the best source for Loire wines on the intertubes is Chambers St. Wines.

I would suggest:

Week 1
Chinon/Bourgueil/Saumur
Producers: Baudry, Breton, Alliet, Joguet, Clos Rougeard, Filliatreau, Ch. Coulaine

Week 2
Touraine Red (incl. Cheverny, and Coteaux de Loir (without e, up near Jasnieres)).
Morantin, Tue-Boeuf, Puzelat, Lemasson, Belliviere,

Week 3
Vouvray/Montlouis/Savennieres/Jasnieres/Anjou
Huet, Foreau, Chidaine, Pinon, Delatang, Angeli, Baumard, Closel, Belliviere, Mosse, Pithon, Tijou

Week 4
Touraine white/Sancerre/Pouilly Fume
Morantin, Tue-Boeuf, Puzelat, Cazin, Vatan, Cotat, Crochet, Deschamps, Dageneau, Thomas-Labaille

Week 5
Muscadet
Pepiere, Luneau-Papin, Bossard, Landron,

List is non-exhaustive and vlm-centric. I'd sprinkle in a bubbly or Moelleux wine instead of concentrating on them.

No affiliation with Chambers, but everything they have from the Loire is expertly chosen. David Lillie goes every year and tastes diligently, much more so than I do.

Good luck. Should be fun.


Nathan - thanks for the great info and terrific list of producers, many of whom I have been able to taste!. Later Explorations may be more specific. I just wanted to kick this one off with a broad list that will appeal to many people. I hope you participate and if so, I look forward to your notes.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #17  Postby Jim Brennan » February 12th 2010, 12:08pm

Where's Brad Kane? And send over Joe D... he just did a fabulous overview of the 2008 Loire wines over on Wine ********.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #18  Postby G. D y e r » February 12th 2010, 12:26pm

Nathan V. wrote:If you want to learn about Loire wines, I would suggest breaking them up into regions and doing it one at a time. The soils, climate, and grapes sued can vary widely.

Also, the best source for Loire wines on the intertubes is Chambers St. Wines.

I would suggest:

Week 1
Chinon/Bourgueil/Saumur
Producers: Baudry, Breton, Alliet, Joguet, Clos Rougeard, Filliatreau, Ch. Coulaine


For West Coast folks, K&L Wines has a very good Loire selection. Many of the wines they sell are Kermit Lynch imports.

Clos Rougeard, incidentally, is not an easy producer to find. You must move fast if you see it. I took the leap last year when an opportunity presented itself, though I rarely spend that much per bottle. I'll be excited to try them in many years when they supposedly approach their apogee. Maybe someone will post here on Rougeard so I can learn more. I am patient and will not deviate from my plan . . . .
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #19  Postby Nathan V. » February 12th 2010, 12:35pm

G. D y e r wrote:
Nathan V. wrote:If you want to learn about Loire wines, I would suggest breaking them up into regions and doing it one at a time. The soils, climate, and grapes sued can vary widely.

Also, the best source for Loire wines on the intertubes is Chambers St. Wines.

I would suggest:

Week 1
Chinon/Bourgueil/Saumur
Producers: Baudry, Breton, Alliet, Joguet, Clos Rougeard, Filliatreau, Ch. Coulaine


For West Coast folks, K&L Wines has a very good Loire selection. Many of the wines they sell are Kermit Lynch imports.

Clos Rougeard, incidentally, is not an easy producer to find. You must move fast if you see it. I took the leap last year when an opportunity presented itself, though I rarely spend that much per bottle. I'll be excited to try them in many years when they supposedly approach their apogee. Maybe someone will post here on Rougeard so I can learn more. I am patient and will not deviate from my plan . . . .


You can drink the 2003 or 2004 Clos with pleasure, even though patience is a better plan.

Rougeard is expensive because it is widely believed to be the best producer of red Loire wine and is highly sought after in Europe. One way to tell the "importance" of a vigneron is to look in his or her cellar to see who they trade with. What I saw at Foucault were boxes of Leflaive, Lafon, Chave, etc..

Personally, I think that the Croix Boisée Chinon from Baudry may end up being at that level one day.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #20  Postby Nathan V. » February 12th 2010, 12:38pm

Tony V e l e b i l wrote:
Nathan V. wrote:If you want to learn about Loire wines, I would suggest breaking them up into regions and doing it one at a time. The soils, climate, and grapes sued can vary widely.

Also, the best source for Loire wines on the intertubes is Chambers St. Wines.

I would suggest:

Week 1
Chinon/Bourgueil/Saumur
Producers: Baudry, Breton, Alliet, Joguet, Clos Rougeard, Filliatreau, Ch. Coulaine

Week 2
Touraine Red (incl. Cheverny, and Coteaux de Loir (without e, up near Jasnieres)).
Morantin, Tue-Boeuf, Puzelat, Lemasson, Belliviere,

Week 3
Vouvray/Montlouis/Savennieres/Jasnieres/Anjou
Huet, Foreau, Chidaine, Pinon, Delatang, Angeli, Baumard, Closel, Belliviere, Mosse, Pithon, Tijou

Week 4
Touraine white/Sancerre/Pouilly Fume
Morantin, Tue-Boeuf, Puzelat, Cazin, Vatan, Cotat, Crochet, Deschamps, Dageneau, Thomas-Labaille

Week 5
Muscadet
Pepiere, Luneau-Papin, Bossard, Landron,

List is non-exhaustive and vlm-centric. I'd sprinkle in a bubbly or Moelleux wine instead of concentrating on them.

No affiliation with Chambers, but everything they have from the Loire is expertly chosen. David Lillie goes every year and tastes diligently, much more so than I do.

Good luck. Should be fun.


Nathan - thanks for the great info and terrific list of producers, many of whom I have been able to taste!. Later Explorations may be more specific. I just wanted to kick this one off with a broad list that will appeal to many people. I hope you participate and if so, I look forward to your notes.


Tony, I don't do much note posting on wine boreds, mostly discussing. I have posted many notes on Loire wines on my blog.*

Feel free to delete link if inappropriate.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #21  Postby G. D y e r » February 12th 2010, 1:05pm

Nathan V. wrote:You can drink the 2003 or 2004 Clos with pleasure, even though patience is a better plan.

Rougeard is expensive because it is widely believed to be the best producer of red Loire wine and is highly sought after in Europe. One way to tell the "importance" of a vigneron is to look in his or her cellar to see who they trade with. What I saw at Foucault were boxes of Leflaive, Lafon, Chave, etc..

Personally, I think that the Croix Boisée Chinon from Baudry may end up being at that level one day.


I also plan to buy Baudry when possible. The '07 Grezeaux was ridiculously inexpensive given how "perfect" it was. Not perfect in a WA/WS/WE sense, but in the sense that is was transparent, honest and pure. After trying some 2007s that just didn't do it for me, it was quite redeeming. I know to buy in multiples, not single bottles, in the future . . . .
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #22  Postby Todd F r e n c h » February 12th 2010, 1:51pm

Nathan, that's a terrific list, but VERY few will be able to participate, and we want to be as inclusive as possible, particularly in the beginning. Broader topics will be needed, making sure we get this off the ground running.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #23  Postby Nathan V. » February 12th 2010, 2:18pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:Nathan, that's a terrific list, but VERY few will be able to participate, and we want to be as inclusive as possible, particularly in the beginning. Broader topics will be needed, making sure we get this off the ground running.


Fair enough. I'm just a strong proponent of the wines and the best growers.

FWIW, I was able to quickly put together 1 bottle from a recommended producer from each area for $105+shipping. It's the beauty of the undiscovered country.

Puzelat, Thierry 2007 Touraine KO (In Côt We Trust) $19.99
Thomas-Labaille 2008 Sancerre Chavignol Les Monts Damnées $24.99
Baudry, Bernard 2007 Chinon Cuvée Domaine $17.99
Huet 2007 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Sec * $26.50
Pepiere 2008 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Clos des Briords $15.99
Subtotal $105.46
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #24  Postby Jared Wagner » February 12th 2010, 2:20pm

K & L does have a nice list of wines. If you want a very tasty and complex high end Sancerre, take a look at Gerard Boulay. Both his Monts Damnes and Clos du Beaujeu are great examples of the terroir.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #25  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » February 12th 2010, 4:39pm

Tony V e l e b i l wrote:


... wander into your local wine shop and peruse the aisles and pick up a couple of Loire wines...now let's get to expLoiring.


fixed, [wink.gif]

great idea, Tony! [berserker.gif]
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #26  Postby Larry Stein » February 12th 2010, 4:54pm

Joe Dressner will be at Terroir in SF on the 22nd. I can't imagine there not being Loire wines poured from his portfolio that evening. Some of the producers on Nathan's list are imported by Louis/Dressner.

(FYI, I have no affiliation with either business)
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #27  Postby LMD Ermitaño » February 12th 2010, 6:04pm

Very interesting. I have a lot of notes of Loire wines, though, unfortunately, I cannot list US sources from them as I bought them either in Manila or in France. Still, on the off chance some can find them in the US (which is more than likely), I will post on a few that I found particularly interesting or good QPR (of which there are a lot in the Loire).

Image

2005 Domaine Plante d'Or Cour Cheverny Cuvée Salamandre - (cepage: romorantin)...I had it with the cheese course. My previous notes describe this wine with flavors/scents of very lightly honeyed quince, citrus, some fresh herbs, limestone with a mouth-watering slight bitterness towards the rear.

I add now that it has a sweetish florality, cold-stoniness in its pleasantly rounded middle, and an intriguing, faintly waxy feel (vaguely reminiscent of a Rhône blanc marsanne/roussanne blend) on either side of my tongue just past mid-mouth. In addition, it displays praiseworthy complexity and balance in its structure, ripe/rounded fruit, minerality and bright acidity. J-Lab, again, liked it a lot and so did I. Very nice indeed.

Image

2000 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon "Croix Boisée" - I remember having told Jérome a couple of years ago that, after spending many days tasting through the Loire, I did not like a single red I tried there (the whites, though, are excellent) - finding them aggressively herbaceous, tannic and lacking in body.

With an open mind, though, I sipped this before eating, and, sure enough, it was quite forwardly herbaceous in its dominant ripe blackcurrants, cherry flavors. Also present were typical notes of violets and, more in the nose, black pepper. Admittedly, it had better heft and confidence than any red Loire I had previously tried, but I found the middle a bit weak.

The wine's magic, however, was in the pairing. With the deliciously earthy veal, the wine fleshed out and even expanded mid-mouth. The notes of violets rode a swelling blackcurrant river that paired hand-in-hand with the meat, and the black pepper found its place with the duck liver's touch of richness. The wine's transformation, when taken with the dish, was nothing short of astounding. Excellent pairing.

Image

2005 Michel Redde Blanc Fumé de Pouilly "Les Bois de Saint-Andelain" - Great freshness, purity, minerality in this 100% sauvignon blanc from the Loire. For a 2005, it showed excellent balance - a testament to the winemaking skills of Michel Redde et Fils. Solid structure, good ripe fruit, but all buttressed, brightened and kept in check by its acidity.

Very confident wine. I liked the flintiness that shines through the fruit. Nuances of citrus, white peach and white flowers. This is a hefty sauv blanc with a decidedly rounder, fleshier texture than many Loire whites I am used to (the vintage expressing itself for sure). As I've previously stated, however, it was fresh and precisely balanced - the acidity giving the needed brightness and lift to the ripe vintage characteristics. Harmonious wine.

2006 Sancerre La Gravelière by Joseph Mellot - at Au Pied de Cochon, Paris with sizzling moules farci (under a mildly spicy, garlicy tomato sauce), os a moelle (roasted beef marrow bone) and a huge platter of assorted fresh oysters. Though I do not profess to have very extensive experience with Sancerre, I've tried several in Manila and immersed myself in the Loire for a week drinking a lot of it everyday, with virtually every meal except breakfast.

The subject Sancerre is the one that stuck most in my mind.

Offered as the only Sancerre on the restaurant's current wine list, I ordered a 375ml for my wife and I just to try. We loved it so much with every dish, we ordered another at the first bottle's halfway point.

Superbly clean, crisp, refreshing and palate-resuscitating, its alluringly flinty, minerally mild white grapefruit/mild gooseberry flavors cut the roasted marrow's richness, as well as that of the moules' sauce, and danced with the fresh oysters. There is the merest touch of grassiness to it - much unlike the usual more aggressive grassiness of NZ sauv blancs. The acidity is milder than many Sancerres I tried in my Loire immersion - and I think this is a good thing - made the wine much friendlier with the food.

I really, really like this wine, and it is inexpensive to boot. The restaurant's price is a mere 20Euro for a 375ml and around 38Euro for a regular 750ml.

(nb: I've since found a supplier in Paris selling the 750mls for only 9-10Euros per bottle.)

2003 "Zero" por Bouvet-Ladubay Extra Brut, Saumur - recommended to go with my seafood dishes at La Licorne (an impeccable restaurant, a must in the area) 250-or-so yards from the Fontevraud Abbey on an extremely hot day. As its name states, this is a bone-dry white - bracingly crisp, clean pure white fruit, hints of grapefruit and pre-ripe pear, lots of white mineral, with generous acidity yet doesn't come off as tart. Very light and bright on the palate. Alluring mild spiciness on the nose didn't seem to translate onto the palate. As dry a white as I've ever had, you could cut your cheek on it. Superb on a hot day. Would be great as an appetizer as well. I would drink this young (nb: last tasted in July 2006).
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #28  Postby Mike Stoneking » February 12th 2010, 7:25pm

Great idea. I have limited exposure to this area and am looking forward to Wine Exploration Week.
Nathan, thanks for the list.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #29  Postby Bob Hughes » February 12th 2010, 7:32pm

I think this is a great idea, Tony & Todd, but also think the area is too big to stuff into one thread (as has been mentioned by several other posters already). Even if you just used very broad categorizations like Loire Reds, Muscadet, Sweeties & Sancerre/Pouilly Fume you'd at least establish a little order. Just one man's vote, but I can see a week-long thread of "everything Loire" getting very unwieldy and therefor unusable.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #30  Postby Todd F r e n c h » February 12th 2010, 7:57pm

Bob Hughes wrote:I think this is a great idea, Tony & Todd, but also think the area is too big to stuff into one thread (as has been mentioned by several other posters already). Even if you just used very broad categorizations like Loire Reds, Muscadet, Sweeties & Sancerre/Pouilly Fume you'd at least establish a little order. Just one man's vote, but I can see a week-long thread of "everything Loire" getting very unwieldy and therefor unusable.

Perhaps because this one is rather broad (by design) we could start separate threads once it launches, for the different subcategories...
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #31  Postby Jorge Henriquez » February 12th 2010, 8:10pm

Serge Birbrair wrote:
G. D y e r wrote:Exciting! I'm trying to learn about Chenin Blancs, but already have an unhealthy obsession with Cab Francs. This would be like a regular week for me . . . .


wait 'til you put your hands on aged Muscadet!!!! What a paradigm changer!



Serge.....told you I have one with your name on it. [wink.gif]



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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #32  Postby Yoni O v a d i a » February 12th 2010, 11:44pm

THis is a fantastic idea and I can't wait to start as I have close to zero experience with Loire wines and have been itching to explore. K&L, here I come.... [training.gif] [training.gif]
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #33  Postby Tony V e l e b i l » February 12th 2010, 11:50pm

Yoni. Awesome glad you will participate.
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #34  Postby Kimberly Cabot » February 13th 2010, 1:55pm

Tony,
This is a great idea. The few Loire wines I have tried have been great QPR's, in particular the Muscadets. I have been looking at K & L and Chambers and have a nice selection in my carts. Thanks for the push to explore another wine area. I look forward to getting more involved in posting notes. Cheers!
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Re: Berserker Wine Exploration Week 2/21-28/2009: LOIRE WINES

Post #35  Postby J a y H a c k » February 15th 2010, 8:56am

Randy Sloan wrote:Great idea and great first choice. . . . the person who chose a theme would choose the next person in line. . . .
JOKE ALERT FOR THE COMICALLY CHALLENEGED - Yeah, but once the anti-flavor elite get their mitts on it, all the themes will suck.

I think it's a great idea. We tried to set up a tasting group that did that once a month in NY, but it died due to lack of interest. Since this allows for much more flexible involvement, it should work fine. I prefer keeping all the notes together.

In honor of Posner, I think the second theme should be "Spanish wines with TWA ratings of 95 or higher."

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