What would your classification of Loire reds be?

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Julian Marshall
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#401 Post by Julian Marshall » September 27th, 2020, 6:19 am

Robert - I always knew you were jealous of our royal family! I know you have a thing about that Clos de la Dioterie, but it's officially "only" 14°! Chris gave the Croix Boissée 98 pts and the Clos de la Dioterie 96 pts (it was the only Joguet in the line-up). As an Ovid man, you must be used to high alc levels!

It's going to be interesting to see how powerful the big name Chinon 2018s are when they are released - none of the Germain or Amiraults I've got so far have such high levels, as far as I remember. Perhaps 2005 was a blip in that respect?

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#402 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » September 27th, 2020, 6:20 am

Adrian Burgess wrote:
September 24th, 2020, 8:17 pm
eweininger wrote:
September 23rd, 2020, 6:39 pm
Adrian Burgess wrote:
September 23rd, 2020, 1:08 pm

Do you or anyone else have any experience with Domaine de l'R ? or know which of their curvees comes from from La Croix Boissée ? (Their website doesn't give any hints on this). I ask, partly, as my normal merchant in the UK has a case of the 2012 'Les Folies du Noyer Vert' on their broking list, which peeked my interest and for a price that I would have bought on sight had it been Baudry's Croix Boissée with some bottle age, even if from a perhaps questionable vintage, but also because they might be a domaine worth following... I have done a bit of digging and they seem to be being pushed as a new and up-and-coming organic > biodynamic domaine, with maybe slightly too trendy / hipster targeted marketing. However, I can't find any serious or informative write ups or reviews from any of my normal sources - Here (l'R is perhaps a difficult search term), Jancis, Richard Kelly, Chris Kissack (as of earlier today, thanks to reading this thread).... a few CT reviews for other vintages look promising.

p.s. Hugely informative thread [cheers.gif] ....even if it has rather led me down a Loire cab franc rabbit hole for most of a working day
Hi Adrian—I’m afraid I don’t know anything about this producer except that their labels can be a bit...much. Arguably, of course.

That said (or for that reason, actually), I strongly recommend you buy some, pop a few corks, and report back.

Fwiw, I do recall reading a rather effusive blog post at Wine Terroirs, in case you haven’t seen it.
Likewise, I find their Labels (and the whole promoting / positioning of the wine) like you...a bit much. It all looks too much like craft / 'Punk IPA' marketing, and that's not something I get on well with gastronomically or gastrointestinally (..tastes awful, makes me flatulent). I hadn't seen the article you linked to - thank you, its more detailed than anything else I have read on the domaine, but still not really convincing one way or another. Will keep an open mind and an eye out for an odd bottle, and report back if I do! (p.s. the hyperlink didn't work for me ? but enough info to find it:https://www.wineterroirs.com/2013/09/do ... loire.html) <- whoever writes this needs a copyeditor
how is your French? Bertrand is French, I’ve never met him so no idea how his conversational English is. This is a longtime blog covering natural wine, wine bars, etc. So many blogs have died over the years, but this one is still going strong.
Appreciate this free resource for what is.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#403 Post by eweininger » September 27th, 2020, 6:27 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 1:11 am

I've been many times to Touraine and was planning on going later this year, but events have conspired against me! It's a great region to visit because you can combine wine tasting, winery visits and château visits. The best wine list I know is that of the Moulin Fleuri, which is near Montbazon, just south of Tours. The setting is beautiful, the food is good but not exceptional, unlike the wine list:
https://www.moulin-fleuri.fr/fr/notre-restaurant
https://www.moulin-fleuri.fr/media/imag ... e_cave.pdf
Their cellar is not quite what it was, they have clearly been forced to reduce it a lot, but there are still some wonderful older wines.
Julian—that list is amazing. It’s great that places like that still exist! Is Boucard, the Bourgueil producer, still around?
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#404 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 27th, 2020, 6:33 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 5:47 am
Otto - My Finnish BFF with the aversion to gay sweaters,* you are hands-down one of the finest chroniclers of wines that I have ever seen on a BB. Really enjoy the detail.
Robert, I'm Humbled and grateful!

(Although, just not to give people the wrong idea, I am not averse to gay sweaters but to people calling random pieces of clothing gay. The sweaters pictured in that thread looked pretty nifty and I'd have no problems wearing one!)

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#405 Post by Jayson Cohen » September 27th, 2020, 6:37 am

eweininger wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 6:27 am
Julian Marshall wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 1:11 am

I've been many times to Touraine and was planning on going later this year, but events have conspired against me! It's a great region to visit because you can combine wine tasting, winery visits and château visits. The best wine list I know is that of the Moulin Fleuri, which is near Montbazon, just south of Tours. The setting is beautiful, the food is good but not exceptional, unlike the wine list:
https://www.moulin-fleuri.fr/fr/notre-restaurant
https://www.moulin-fleuri.fr/media/imag ... e_cave.pdf
Their cellar is not quite what it was, they have clearly been forced to reduce it a lot, but there are still some wonderful older wines.
Julian—that list is amazing. It’s great that places like that still exist! Is Boucard, the Bourgueil producer, still around?
It’s a shadow of what it once was in terms of the older vintage offerings. I noticed the change about 2 years ago. Does anyone know if they sold through organically because people found out, or did they sell a good part of their cellar to a broker or at auction?

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#406 Post by eweininger » September 27th, 2020, 6:38 am

Otto Forsberg wrote: Whopping 15% alcohol.
[\quote]

I guess they were...ahead of their time with this one?

My view of Couly-Dutheil was forever altered by a bottle of the 2005 Cuvée Madeleine, opened many years ago. Probably the worst Loire cab franc I’ve ever tried. I still get shivers thinking about it.
Elliot

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#407 Post by Jayson Cohen » September 27th, 2020, 6:43 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 6:19 am
Robert - I always knew you were jealous of our royal family! I know you have a thing about that Clos de la Dioterie, but it's officially "only" 14°! Chris gave the Croix Boissée 98 pts and the Clos de la Dioterie 96 pts (it was the only Joguet in the line-up). As an Ovid man, you must be used to high alc levels!

It's going to be interesting to see how powerful the big name Chinon 2018s are when they are released - none of the Germain or Amiraults I've got so far have such high levels, as far as I remember. Perhaps 2005 was a blip in that respect?
I can’t wait drink those 98 points! But more seriously it’s good to know the 2005 Croix Boissée is maturing well. I haven’t tried it in a while. My recollection is I double bought it by accident but then sold off the second tranche. Maybe a mistake.

Do folks subscribe to Kissack? He’s been doing his thing for a long time now fairly quietly, but recently I’ve noticed retail starting to use his reviews to sell Loire wines.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#408 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 27th, 2020, 6:44 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 6:33 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 5:47 am
Otto - My Finnish BFF with the aversion to gay sweaters,* you are hands-down one of the finest chroniclers of wines that I have ever seen on a BB. Really enjoy the detail.

(Although, just not to give people the wrong idea, I am not averse to gay sweaters but to people calling random pieces of clothing gay. The sweaters pictured in that thread looked pretty nifty and I'd have no problems wearing one!)
Most of us concurred! I’m still sending you that ugly ass Xmas sweater grandma made for me.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#409 Post by Julian Marshall » September 27th, 2020, 7:05 am

Elliot - re Boucard - yes, I posted a note a couple of pages back - the wines are good but not spectacularly so.

Jayson - no idea, but I would guess they slimmed down by selling to dealers. Sadly, even before Covid 19, the demand for those wines in a restaurant must have plummeted some time ago.
I subscribe to WD and like it a lot, especially since the change of decor. The Loire coverage is obviously second-to-none but my only wish would be for him to spend more time on the Loire and less on Bordeaux, or drop the latter completely.

Robert, I don't know about the sweaters, but I completely agree about the excellence of Otto's note-writing, which is forensic in detail - if you use CT, have a look at his BAMA notes - incredible stuff which I could never emulate. Bearing in mind that (unless I'm mistaken) English is not his first language, I'm flabbergasted!

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#410 Post by eweininger » September 27th, 2020, 7:20 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 6:43 am
Julian Marshall wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 6:19 am
Robert - I always knew you were jealous of our royal family! I know you have a thing about that Clos de la Dioterie, but it's officially "only" 14°! Chris gave the Croix Boissée 98 pts and the Clos de la Dioterie 96 pts (it was the only Joguet in the line-up). As an Ovid man, you must be used to high alc levels!

It's going to be interesting to see how powerful the big name Chinon 2018s are when they are released - none of the Germain or Amiraults I've got so far have such high levels, as far as I remember. Perhaps 2005 was a blip in that respect?
I can’t wait drink those 98 points! But more seriously it’s good to know the 2005 Croix Boissée is maturing well. I haven’t tried it in a while. My recollection is I double bought it by accident but then sold off the second tranche. Maybe a mistake.

Do folks subscribe to Kissack? He’s been doing his thing for a long time now fairly quietly, but recently I’ve noticed retail starting to use his reviews to sell Loire wines.
Chris is a great writer, but I don’t subscribe. I used to buy the issues of Gilman‘s newsletter that covered the Loire. But at this point I feel like I know my way around what’s available here fairly well. It would be different if there was a more robust market for older vintages, a la Burgundy and Bordeaux.

Regarding 2018, the Jacky Blot wine I tried a week or two ago was certainly quite ripe and a bit soft, but I’m positive that it was not above 13%. Even in a vintage like this, high octane wines will be partly a result of vigneron choices, not some inexorable result of climate/weather.
Elliot

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#411 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 27th, 2020, 7:42 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 6:44 am
Most of us concurred! I’m still sending you that ugly ass Xmas sweater grandma made for me.
I'm quite certain that sweater will only triple those hipster points I was originally awarded in the natty wine thread for drinking non-interventionist wines.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#412 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 27th, 2020, 8:12 am

Kissack seems like a class guy, love his attention to the region. I do think he likes a slightly more modern style of Chinon or Bordeaux, or perhaps just agnostic on style. I’m a bit skeptical about these huge 2018 scores but will be more than happy if they are on point.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#413 Post by Cris Whetstone » September 27th, 2020, 9:31 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 3:51 am
Julian Marshall wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 1:11 am
Interestingly, Chris Kissack just published a 2005 report of 19 wines, in which Clos de L'Echo came joint second, behind La Croix Boissée, scoring 97/100. I've got some, but I've not tasted it yet and I'm rather wary, since it has 15° alcohol. I did try a Clos de L'Olive, which had a mere 14.5° but didn't enjoy it all.
I've had the Cuvée Crescendo version of Echo, and while it was not particularly Chinon, it was a surprisingly enjoyable effort for a CF having the density of a neutron star.
  • 2005 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Cuvée Crescendo Clos de l'Echo - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon (13.5.2017)
    Made from the fruit sourced from a special parcel located in the Couly-Dutheil monopole Clos de l'Echo, a 17-hectare vineyard. The vines in this parcel are pruned down to produce a yield half to that of the rest of the Clos de l'Echo, resulting in a tremendously concentrated and massive Chinon. The wine is fermented with natural yeasts and macerated with the skins over a period of 30 days, after which the wine is aged partially in stainless steel and partially in new oak barrels. Whopping 15% alcohol.

    Completely opaque, concentrated black-red color with very thin, brick-orange rim. Really massive, concentrated and tremendously ripe nose redolent with opulent aromas of sweet dark berries, raisined fruit, some prunes, a little bit of gravelly minerality and a green note of herbal character. The wine feels as massice and concentrated on the palate with incredibly full body and very extracted, robust flavors of sweet dark fruits, some raisiny character, a little bit of peppery spice and a hint of grilled, even slightly charred bell pepper. The wine is ridiculously structured, even for a Chinon, with high acidity and massive, mouthdrying tannins. With its chewy texture and fruit that feels more sweet than savory, the wine comes across less as Chinon and more as an Amarone made from Cabernet Franc. The sense of concentration here is simply stunning. The finish is very firmly textured and tightly-knit with grippy, astringent tannins and very rich, slightly sweet and complex flavors of raisins, slightly wizened overripe dark plums, peppery spice, some blackberry jam and a hint of cooked bell pepper. The aftertaste is extremely long, chewy and warm with somewhat noticeable alcohol.

    This is by far the most over-the-top Cabernet Franc I've ever had - and I've had some ridiculous Chilean and Argentinian ones. However, unlike these South American counterparts, this wine sports ridiculously massive structure to support its monolithic, extracted fruit, so despite its immense size and weight, this wine doesn't come across as flabby nor tired. On the contrary, even with its Amarone-like concentration, the wine shows that typical freshness and focus of Loire Cabernet Franc with ease. There is very little bell pepper character here and even less of that leafy greenness, but this is still unmistakably Cabernet Franc in style. Despite being over 10 years old now, the wine is still very youthful and primary with very tightly wound tannins. Obviously a wine made for the long haul, so no need to pop a bottle open anytime soon. A monster of a wine that probably is a bit too much for the fans of the classic, lighter Chinon style, but I loved it for what it is. Superb value at 22,10€. (93 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
I would have to completely concur with this. I got a couple pretty cheap off WineBid a few years back. Both bottles drink pretty much as you describe. Big, forward wines that don't really make me think of Loire Cab Franc. But were somehow alright in that they didn't have the gloppy richness, ripe shrillness or big oak a modern styled wine can have. A wild experience.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#414 Post by David Glasser » September 27th, 2020, 2:12 pm

Any of the Baudry fans here try the 2017 Croix Boisée yet?

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#415 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » October 14th, 2020, 6:25 pm

Damn this 2013 Domaine de Roche Neuves Clos de l’Echelier is TIGHT. Tart, lean and tight. I know, tough vintage, but I’m not sure where this wine really goes or if it evolves into something more. I like it, but not $60 kind of like. It’s got a neat sour orange rind note that really appeals to this Cuban, sour oranges being a core staple in the marinade for lechon. I’m drooling.

I liked the 2012 much better, and am looking forward to trying more classic or more ripe vintages, say 2014 for the former.

I’m like 89 points on this wine right now. Will circle back to the remaining 1/2 bottle tomorrow.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#416 Post by Julian Marshall » October 15th, 2020, 12:38 am

Well at least you like the marmalade taste (if I'm interpreting it right!) which sounds weird! I've avoided 2013 almost completely because of the prices, which are not low enough. But hey, you never know - 2012 was the first vintage I tasted young and I was singularly unimpressed, but they haven't turned out bad at all.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#417 Post by eweininger » October 17th, 2020, 6:56 am

Recently I sampled the 2015 Domaine Amirault St. Nicolas de Bourgueil Le Fondis. An interesting wine with a lacy texture and some nice herbal and spice notes, but it did mostly break down on day 2.

The packaging is a bit ridiculous, with thick, heavy glass, and a thin neck with a wax-dipped cork. Kind of like they’re trying to be the luxury cuvée of Loire cab franc. Priced almost as much as Croix Boissee rouge in the US.

No idea if these folks are related to the better-known (in the US at least) Yannick.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#418 Post by Julian Marshall » October 17th, 2020, 8:04 am

The other Amirault, Xavier's wines are quite highly rated here, but the few I have tried, of which one Fondis, haven't impressed me much. I do occasionally buy the wines he makes as a négociant with his cousin Nicolas Grosbois of Clos du Noyer in Chinon (they are sold as "Famille Amirault-Grosbois") which are good value (6 or 7€). As far as I know, he is a very distant cousin of the Yannick Amirault branch.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#419 Post by eweininger » October 18th, 2020, 6:37 am

Thanks for the info, Julian. I agree with you. I just didn’t find anything that would make this producer stand out from the crowd (packaging aside). But I do have one more bottle. Maybe cellar time will coax something more interesting out.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#420 Post by Julian Marshall » October 19th, 2020, 8:48 am

I had two Couly Dutheil Clos de L'Echos, which illustrated perfectly the summits and the pitfalls of this producer:

Clos de L'Echo - Couly Dutheil 2001

"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety".

I think this could be applied to most Loire reds, but it certainly applies to this one. I first discovered this Echo five years ago. I didn't know much about older Loire reds at the time and was expecting something rather tired and weak, so the first bottle was a revelation, but I continued to approach each subsequent bottle with trepidation, convinced that the first one was a fluke. In my defence, I don't think that 2001 was a particularly stunning vintage.

After finishing my first stock of four, I went back for more, then again, and again - I must be up to two cases by now.

This was the last of my current stock so I will have to find yet more - because it really is good.

The nose is full of dark forest fruits and leather, but with spikes of plum and cherry. The attack is still incredibly fresh and fruity, full of ripe cherry and cranberry, but then the magic starts and the wine goes right down to the bass lines, with some serious depth and character, before rising back up to the top of the palate with touches of violet, cherry, raspberry and blackcurrant, easing into a long, broad finish.

"Infinite variety" applies because with each sip, you get different flavours - one or more of them takes over, but never the same one.

It's not even the best Couly I've had, but it's a wonderful wine and remarkable value at under 20€ a bottle. There are the first signs of age, but it still has a long way to go.

Clos de L'Echo 2011

The first time I tried this, a few years back, I couldn't understand why my head was spinning after a couple of glasses. I thought it tasted rather strong but never imagined for a second just how strong it was - then I looked at the bottle and saw 14.5°. I was gobsmacked, never imagining for a second that a Loire red could be so powerful. With the low acidity, the alcohol was an absolute killer.

I tried another last night - to be fair, there has been some positive evolution: the trademark Chinon chalkiness is starting to freshen the attack, but the finish is possibly worse than before - hot and messy, leaving an aftertaste like cough mixture.

You have to be a really big Brutus from Baltimore to handle this, whereas I'm more of a lean and hungry Cassius, so after two glasses I was staggering off to bed and have had a humdinger of a headache today. Fine if you're a "hedonist" who likes that sort of thing, but I shall have to offload the remaining bottles.

It's a frustrating domain, capable of the very best and the very worst!

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#421 Post by eweininger » October 20th, 2020, 5:36 pm

Interesting disjunction, Julian. Am I remembering right that there was a generational transition in the winemaking sometime in between the two vintages?

To add to the timeline, I opened a magnum of the 09 Clos de l’Echo over the summer. It was neither epiphanous nor horrendous. Just a pleasant bottle of Chinon that made relatively little impression.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#422 Post by Julian Marshall » October 21st, 2020, 7:04 am

Absolutely, Elliot - anything before 2003 is likely to be good, anything after could be either good or awful! I've yet to try a 2009.

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