What would your classification of Loire reds be?

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joz€f p1nxten
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#301 Post by joz€f p1nxten » May 19th, 2020, 1:16 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
May 18th, 2020, 4:01 pm
Cool. Sounds like everyone's thinking is tracking mine. As far as "what is there to lose?", I'll just say this: I'm really trying to avoid putting any more boring/whatever bottles in my cellar. :)
But at 25 USD, it would still make a good wine at an ok price for a coq au vin if the wine is boring - it would hurt more if that happens to you with a 100 USD burgundy! Eg, just had a 2011 Anne Gros CM Combe d'Orveau: ok wine, but not for current retail price.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#302 Post by Greg Gardner » May 19th, 2020, 4:03 pm

HMechbal wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 6:52 am
Did anyone taste Arnaud Lambert's reds, Clos Mazurique and Terres Rouges ? Seems to be picking up steam online (in France anyways) and price point is quite low.
I have ordered some that should get there soon but I was curious to know if others had tried it.
I've tasted both, the 2017s and 2018s. They are both entry level cuvees, but of the two, the Clos Mazurique seems the more structured cuvee while the Terres Rouges is an easy drinking crowd pleaser (though derived from older vines). All of his wines have very floral aromatics and are very good values (IMO). The Terres Rouges is a good cellar defender bottle, as well as a crowd pleaser that might help get someone interested in Loire Cab Franc. It has the crunchy, brambly fruit that I associate with Loire Cab Franc but is a bit more plush than the Clos Mazurique. I think they are both around $20-25 in the States.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#303 Post by HMechbal » May 20th, 2020, 12:34 am

It's around 10-12 euros in France for both wines. I have a barbecue with friends tomorrow and reading your message, it seems a perfect occasion to try on a Terres Rouges 18. I'll report back here :)
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#304 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 20th, 2020, 1:32 pm

joz€f p1nxten wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 1:16 pm
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
May 18th, 2020, 4:01 pm
Cool. Sounds like everyone's thinking is tracking mine. As far as "what is there to lose?", I'll just say this: I'm really trying to avoid putting any more boring/whatever bottles in my cellar. :)
But at 25 USD, it would still make a good wine at an ok price for a coq au vin if the wine is boring - it would hurt more if that happens to you with a 100 USD burgundy! Eg, just had a 2011 Anne Gros CM Combe d'Orveau: ok wine, but not for current retail price.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#305 Post by eweininger » May 20th, 2020, 3:36 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 11:59 am
If trends in wine continue, I would expect retail Chinon and Bourgueil prices among the best domaines to continue their climb too. Especially in the secondary market.
Is there much of a climb, though? Not trying to be reflexively argumentative or nitpick every last sentence. But your comment made me try to recall how prices have evolved on the Chinon/Bourgueil wines I like over the years I've been buying them. And while I'm pretty lazy about keeping records, my sense is, in most cases, they haven't climbed much at all. (Leaving aside whatever's going on with Lenoir.)

For example, the first vintage of Dom. de la Butte Mi Pente I purchased was 2005, followed by the 2004 (which was still available). I'm pretty sure i paid about $30 for those. The 2017, which is available locally, costs me $33--a small decline once you subtract out inflation. Similarly, I believe the first Croix Boisee I bought (2007) was $40; the most recent (2016) cost $46. This is true for a lot of the producers i buy regularly, including Amirault, Coulaine, Olga, and others. There are a couple that seem to have risen more than just general consumer inflation would dictate (*cough* Kermit), but even those haven't been very dramatic.

And actually, I think that gets at what's weird about the trendy Saumur/S-C wines. They have climbed substantially, so that some of them now cost twice as much as the Baudrys and the Amiraults and the Coulaines.* I can't see any other explanation than a Rougeard effect.

Maybe there'll eventually be a spillover effect, and demand for these wines will grow enough to begin pulling up prices. Anecdotally, it seems to me that I'm more likely to see the occasional Chinon or Bourgueil on a restaurant list than I was 10-15 years ago. From what Julian says, it sounds like quarantined French drinkers are driving up prices on a few of these wines (Alliet, Bel Air); maybe the rest of us will eventually follow their lead.

But I don't think I see it yet.


*I realize that prices where I am are affected by exchange rates, tariffs, and other factors. But it's really the divergence in prices that I'm interested in: stable vs. increasing.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#306 Post by Jayson Cohen » May 20th, 2020, 7:09 pm

eweininger wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 3:36 pm
Jayson Cohen wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 11:59 am
If trends in wine continue, I would expect retail Chinon and Bourgueil prices among the best domaines to continue their climb too. Especially in the secondary market.
Is there much of a climb, though? Not trying to be reflexively argumentative or nitpick every last sentence. But your comment made me try to recall how prices have evolved on the Chinon/Bourgueil wines I like over the years I've been buying them. And while I'm pretty lazy about keeping records, my sense is, in most cases, they haven't climbed much at all. (Leaving aside whatever's going on with Lenoir.)

For example, the first vintage of Dom. de la Butte Mi Pente I purchased was 2005, followed by the 2004 (which was still available). I'm pretty sure i paid about $30 for those. The 2017, which is available locally, costs me $33--a small decline once you subtract out inflation. Similarly, I believe the first Croix Boisee I bought (2007) was $40; the most recent (2016) cost $46. This is true for a lot of the producers i buy regularly, including Amirault, Coulaine, Olga, and others. There are a couple that seem to have risen more than just general consumer inflation would dictate (*cough* Kermit), but even those haven't been very dramatic.

And actually, I think that gets at what's weird about the trendy Saumur/S-C wines. They have climbed substantially, so that some of them now cost twice as much as the Baudrys and the Amiraults and the Coulaines.* I can't see any other explanation than a Rougeard effect.

Maybe there'll eventually be a spillover effect, and demand for these wines will grow enough to begin pulling up prices. Anecdotally, it seems to me that I'm more likely to see the occasional Chinon or Bourgueil on a restaurant list than I was 10-15 years ago. From what Julian says, it sounds like quarantined French drinkers are driving up prices on a few of these wines (Alliet, Bel Air); maybe the rest of us will eventually follow their lead.

But I don't think I see it yet.


*I realize that prices where I am are affected by exchange rates, tariffs, and other factors. But it's really the divergence in prices that I'm interested in: stable vs. increasing.
Baudry Croix Boisee is a good example. Its retail price and value in the secondary market / auction in good vintages have been going up from what I’ve seen. Going back, I think ‘96 is the first one I saw on release, and it was around $22-24 IIRC. I paid $26-28 for 2005 and $37.95 for 2010 (it’s so good). I didn’t buy 2006 but was offered at $29-30. Now current release price is $45+.

Nothing like the increase in Rougeard over that time. And I certainly don’t begrudge the increase as I think Bernard and Matthieu are doing fabulous work and they are wonderful people. And I’m happy to support LDM as importers. I’m just saying that there seems to be rising demand so that I expect prices to continue creeping up.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#307 Post by Julian Marshall » May 21st, 2020, 5:03 am

I tried two Saumur-Champignys from 2014 this week, both from Les Poyeux: Antoine Sanzay and Dominique Joseph. I wanted to try another A.S., the last one having not really convinced me, but wanted also to compare it with another producer's Les Poyeux from the same year. I started with the D.J. on Monday night, then the A.S. on Tuesday night, finally both together last night. Both wines are organic, both contain some sulphur and from what I can ascertain, they have the same mixture of sand, clay and limestone soil.

Dominique Joseph (Le Petit Saint Vincent) Les Poyeux 2014


Cassis and violet aromas, with spring flowers and a hint of spice. Quite dark and brooding at first, then crunchy, chiseled tastes of morello cherry and blackcurrant, then a touch of violet before a crisp, fresh finish. The fruit was deep, rocky, flinty even, but inviting. Obviously in need of four to five years at least, but very promising.

Antoine Sanzay Les Poyeux 2014

Much darker than the last bottle, but with the same floral notes, then like the last one, crunchy sweet cassis and strawberry, but altogether more intense and satisfying. This time, there was plenty of body and texture, although understandably, not the complexity it will develop in time. Much more convincing than the first bottle.

Trying them together was very interesting. The colour was identical, the noses similar yet completely different - the same floral notes, but the Sanzay was much more open and expressive, much more inviting. On the palate, the Joseph was intense but a little reticent, whereas the Sanzay was broader and brighter, the comparison revealing notes of red cherry I hadn't noticed before. Something else I hadn't noticed before was a slight zing to the finish, as if the wine was re-fermenting.

Both wines are very much part of the new breed - so the fruit tastes less sweet, more pure, crunchy rather than slurpy. They're light years from gloopy Right Bank wines. The acidity and crispness are very refreshing.

Both reminded me of Roches-Neuves. In terms of price, the Joseph costs between 20 and 25€, whereas the Sanzay is around 35€. This is the only problem - much as I liked the Sanzay this time and preferred it to the Joseph, I'm not certain that I want to pay 35€ for another bottle - because there are lots of other wines at that price. 35€ will get me the top Roches-Neuves cuvées, the top Joguets, or the top Baudry and Alliet with change, and all of them are better. But it's still a great wine.

I had a chat with my main wine merchant source this week who told me that 2014 is his favourite vintage of the decade, one for true purists, because of the acidity and tension. All the wines I have tried so far have shown the same characteristics - the fruit is not super-ripe, but fresh, like the sensation you get when drinking zero dosed champagne. I suspect that for me it'll be a toss-up between 2014 and 2015, but the latter will certainly be easier for those who are not Loire über geeks!

As to Jayson's points about prices, I agree with him - it's logical that after six successful vintages and an increase in attention and sales, prices will rise. They already have.
At auction, we will see - prices for older vintages of Chinon especially are high, but with so many good recent vintages, older ones may be less sought after in the future since there will simply be more of them.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#308 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 21st, 2020, 5:17 am

Julian, stop all this banter right here until you try a Rougeard!!! ;)

It will be revelatory. And then sends you to the poor house.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#309 Post by Julian Marshall » May 21st, 2020, 5:27 am

Rougeard? In your dreams (well, mine)! I'm a poor, struggling university lecturer! But you're right, I know, I know, eventually, I will have to sell a few gloopy Right Banks and invest in a Rougeard. Then I will complain and send you the bill when it doesn't turn out to be as good as I hoped!

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#310 Post by HMechbal » May 21st, 2020, 4:36 pm

First showing for a Terres Rouges 2018 from Arnaud Lambert, and a convincing one. Red fruits (raspberries and strawberries), floral notes and very fine tannins. Couple of friends found it peppery as well. Nice fresh finish. Maybe thanks to 2018 vintage, but it was both ripe and fresh at the same time. Gonna buy some more, nice crowd pleaser at a low price.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#311 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 21st, 2020, 4:58 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 8:35 am
I can think of no other region where one producer (Rougeard) stands so far above all the others. Damn Yankees? Damn Rougeard.
Agreed!

And thanks again for being my mule! Best ever!

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#312 Post by Richard T r i m p i » May 21st, 2020, 5:11 pm

Christian Venier? Cheverny. Red lineup: Pinot Noir, Gamay/Pinot blends and Cab Franc. I believe he also does some Menu Pineau. Seems a bit hip, natural wines. Just had a Pinot Noir - La Pierre aux Chiens that I thought was decent. I'm imagining dozens of guys like him with representation at Parisian natural wine bars...but can't tell from 3700 miles away.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#313 Post by Julian Marshall » May 22nd, 2020, 1:51 am

HMechbal wrote:
May 21st, 2020, 4:36 pm
First showing for a Terres Rouges 2018 from Arnaud Lambert, and a convincing one. Red fruits (raspberries and strawberries), floral notes and very fine tannins. Couple of friends found it peppery as well. Nice fresh finish. Maybe thanks to 2018 vintage, but it was both ripe and fresh at the same time. Gonna buy some more, nice crowd pleaser at a low price.
Thanks Hamza, I'll try mine this summer, or even next week if this barbecue weather continues!

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#314 Post by Jay Miller » May 22nd, 2020, 5:46 am

A warning on 2002 Collier whites. Even worse affected by premox than Huet. I bought 4 back in the day, 3 were shot, one was amazingly gorgeous.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#315 Post by eweininger » May 22nd, 2020, 7:36 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
May 21st, 2020, 5:03 am
I tried two Saumur-Champignys from 2014 this week, both from Les Poyeux: Antoine Sanzay and Dominique Joseph. I wanted to try another A.S., the last one having not really convinced me, but wanted also to compare it with another producer's Les Poyeux from the same year. I started with the D.J. on Monday night, then the A.S. on Tuesday night, finally both together last night. Both wines are organic, both contain some sulphur and from what I can ascertain, they have the same mixture of sand, clay and limestone soil.

[....]

Both reminded me of Roches-Neuves. In terms of price, the Joseph costs between 20 and 25€, whereas the Sanzay is around 35€. This is the only problem - much as I liked the Sanzay this time and preferred it to the Joseph, I'm not certain that I want to pay 35€ for another bottle - because there are lots of other wines at that price. 35€ will get me the top Roches-Neuves cuvées, the top Joguets, or the top Baudry and Alliet with change, and all of them are better. But it's still a great wine.
I'm glad the Sanzay worked out better this time. Don't hesitate to open a bottle of the domaine wine, should you come across one.

Thanks also for reporting on a new producer. (Apparently there are more vignerons making wine from vines in Les Poyeaux than I realized.) I don't think the Joseph makes it over here, but I'll certainly sample some if they do.

I certainly agree about relative prices of S-C wines relative to the best of Chinon/Bourgueil/SNdB. But I'm curious whether you think that S-C differs from cf from those appellations in appreciable ways at a general level (which would make them less "substitutable"). Although I'm sure I'd embarrass myself in a blind tasting, I do tend to feel that there's a bit of a difference, especially in terms of aromatics and tannins. Although it doesn't warrant some kind of large premium in terms of price, for me S-C/Saumur does give a somewhat distinct experience.
Last edited by eweininger on May 22nd, 2020, 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#316 Post by eweininger » May 22nd, 2020, 7:36 am

Jay Miller wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 5:46 am
A warning on 2002 Collier whites. Even worse affected by premox than Huet. I bought 4 back in the day, 3 were shot, one was amazingly gorgeous.
Thanks for the warning. Do you know anything about their sulphur use/non-use?
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#317 Post by Julian Marshall » May 22nd, 2020, 8:35 am

eweininger wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 7:36 am
But I'm curious whether you think that S-C differs from cf from those appellations in appreciable ways at a general level (which would make them less "substitutable"). Although I'm sure I'd embarrass myself in a blind tasting, I do tend to feel that there's a bit of a difference, especially in terms of aromatics and tannins. Although it doesn't warrant some kind of large premium in terms of price, for me S-C/Saumur does give a somewhat distinct experience.
I always make a fool of myself in blind tastings! There are lots of better placed people here than me to comment on the difference between S-C and the others: my experience with older S-Cs is small and I've never tasted the Godfather of S-Cs. My vague impression is that in their youth, they are crunchier, less tannic, more approachable, with a beguiling blend of smoky, velvety fruit when older, and I haven't come across the same chalkiness as in Chinons, or the hints of spice in Bourgeuils. Just my impression.

I'll certainly taste some more Sanzays, it was fun trying them and I'll definitely look out for other wines from his portfolio.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#318 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 22nd, 2020, 8:50 am

eweininger wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 7:36 am
Julian Marshall wrote:
May 21st, 2020, 5:03 am
I tried two Saumur-Champignys from 2014 this week, both from Les Poyeux: Antoine Sanzay and Dominique Joseph. I wanted to try another A.S., the last one having not really convinced me, but wanted also to compare it with another producer's Les Poyeux from the same year. I started with the D.J. on Monday night, then the A.S. on Tuesday night, finally both together last night. Both wines are organic, both contain some sulphur and from what I can ascertain, they have the same mixture of sand, clay and limestone soil.

[....]

Both reminded me of Roches-Neuves. In terms of price, the Joseph costs between 20 and 25€, whereas the Sanzay is around 35€. This is the only problem - much as I liked the Sanzay this time and preferred it to the Joseph, I'm not certain that I want to pay 35€ for another bottle - because there are lots of other wines at that price. 35€ will get me the top Roches-Neuves cuvées, the top Joguets, or the top Baudry and Alliet with change, and all of them are better. But it's still a great wine.
...
I certainly agree about relative prices of S-C wines relative to the best of Chinon/Bourgueil/SNdB. But I'm curious whether you think that S-C differs from cf from those appellations in appreciable ways at a general level (which would make them less "substitutable"). Although I'm sure I'd embarrass myself in a blind tasting, I do tend to feel that there's a bit of a difference, especially in terms of aromatics and tannins. Although it doesn't warrant some kind of large premium in terms of price, for me S-C/Saumur does give a somewhat distinct experience.
Not Julian, but ... based on my limited exposure to S-C wines, (for reds) I've typically found I prefer Chinon over S-C. So, if S-C needs to get hipstery in order for Chinon to remain under the radar, well, I'm okay with that. Frustrating thing is my favorite Loire white producer is out of S-C, so they would get caught up in the rising tide (and already are, really), much to my chagrin.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#319 Post by eweininger » May 28th, 2020, 2:40 pm

Apparently a couple of cuvees from Antoine Sanzay are newly available in the US. Anyone have experience with “La Haye Dampierre” or “La Terre Rouge”?
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#320 Post by Julian Marshall » May 30th, 2020, 5:02 am

eweininger wrote:
May 28th, 2020, 2:40 pm
Apparently a couple of cuvees from Antoine Sanzay are newly available in the US. Anyone have experience with “La Haye Dampierre” or “La Terre Rouge”?
I haven't tried them, but they are sort of in the middle of his range, selling here for around 25€.

I had a couple of Bourgueils this week:

Domaine des Chesnaies - Cuvée Prestige - Lamé Delisle Boucard - Bourgueil 2010

Cedar, cherry and tobacco aromas, with quite a spicy, medium-bodied attack of red cherry, morphing into blackberry and hints of tobacco and blackcurrant. Quite acidic, with a pleasant tang to the finish. Amazing value at 8€ but not the depth of the better Bourgueils.

Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Les Perrières 2005

A totally different proposition, this one had rich aromas of velvety plum and toffee, before a thick mouthful of plums and dark cherry, a brief but welcome freshness mid-palate and a long, brooding finish. It has several years to go and will improve further, but I could have done with a little more crispness and freshness on the finish. What I did like about it was the alcohol level - a mere 12°, quite a change from other 05s which are mostly around 14°, so although very plush and rich, it wasn't overpowering. Overall very impressive.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#321 Post by Richard T r i m p i » May 30th, 2020, 5:54 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
May 30th, 2020, 5:02 am
Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Les Perrières 2005
A totally different proposition, this one had rich aromas of velvety plum and toffee, before a thick mouthful of plums and dark cherry, a brief but welcome freshness mid-palate and a long, brooding finish. It has several years to go and will improve further, but I could have done with a little more crispness and freshness on the finish. What I did like about it was the alcohol level - a mere 12°, quite a change from other 05s which are mostly around 14°, so although very plush and rich, it wasn't overpowering. Overall very impressive.
Thanks for the update. I have a pair of these left. Loved it on release.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#322 Post by eweininger » May 31st, 2020, 6:54 am

Julian, thanks for the notes, especially the one on the 05 Les Perrieres. I've always thought of Breton as a producer who does particularly well in riper vintages, due to a predilection a towards a slightly leaner, less extracted style.

I actually have a single bottle of the 02 Les Perrieres that I can't decide whether to open. The handful of recent notes on CT (from 2017 and 2018) all point to some secondary/tertiary development, so I'm leaning towards sooner rather than later.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#323 Post by Troy Stark » June 1st, 2020, 5:38 am

Any opinions on Chateau de Chaintres or Chateau du Petite Thouars?
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#324 Post by Julian Marshall » June 8th, 2020, 12:25 am

Troy - I've tried Château de Chaintres a few times, but I don't remember anything special. Never tried Petite Thouars.

I did try something interesting this weekend - Château Coudray Montpensier - Chinon 2014
Plump, ripe, velvety blueberry and blackcurrant, with a crisp, chalky finish, so classic Chinon, for a mere 6 euros. There isn't quite the class of the top Chinons, but each time I open one, I'm surprised by how good it is. The fruit is ripe but not overripe, so it has a classic, unforced charm to it. Tasted alongside Clos de L'Echo Crescendo 1997, it couldn't compete but it wasn't out of its depth either.

This can be found in the US according to Winesearcher, for around 18$, which is a bit more, but I would think it would compare favourably with other Chinons at the same price.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#325 Post by eweininger » June 10th, 2020, 9:26 am

Recently, Chambers Street Wines in NYC offered a number of wines from Domaine de Chevalerie, accompanied by an excellent article on the various terroirs of Bourgueil (and how they differ from neighboring AOCs), I believe by Pascaline Lepeltier, the somm at Racines. While I imagine many on this board have already seen it, anyone who hasn't can take a look here.

I've only had a couple of Chevalerie wines, but they were quite good: a 1996 Breteche and 2001 Chevalerie. I was happy to order some younger vintages, but very annoyed that I missed out on the Grand Mont.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#326 Post by Vince T » June 10th, 2020, 2:17 pm

I'm a big fan of the Chevalerie Breteche. The 2010 was great.

Slightly off-topic, but I had an amazing 2015 Thierry German Clos du Moulin S-C blanc last night. Better than the 2015 Huet secs I've tried. Crazy aromatics and energetic as all get out.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#327 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » June 10th, 2020, 2:44 pm

To switch it up a little bit, how would folks rank the following appellations, relative to each other? (for red wines)
Anjou
Bourgueil
Chinon
Saumur(-Champigny)
Touraine
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#328 Post by eweininger » June 11th, 2020, 1:21 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
June 10th, 2020, 2:44 pm
To switch it up a little bit, how would folks rank the following appellations, relative to each other? (for red wines)
Anjou
Bourgueil
Chinon
Saumur(-Champigny)
Touraine
Back when I was learning about Loire cf, the standard line was that there weren’t really appreciable differences between Chinon and Bourgueil (and St Nicolas de Bourgueil, for that matter). Instead, it was particular types of terroir, which could be found within each of these appellations, that gave rise to fairly distinctive characteristics of the wines. To be sure, SNdB was always considered the least profound of the trio, because it mainly has alluvial sites (predominantly gravel and sand), which usually give less structured, less ageable wines. But (supposedly) there’s nothing to distinguish these different AOCs per se.

In the CSW mini-article I linked to above, she kind of suggests that this is wrong, and there is a bit of a distinction, so don't take this as any kind of gospel. But I will say that if there really are such differences, they're too subtle for me.

I believe that Chinon, Bourgueil, and SNdB are all “sub-appellations” within the larger Touraine AOC. Outside of those three sub-appellations, you find a lot of other red varieties—gamay, cot/Malbec, and some of the more obscure traditional Loire grapes. I haven’t had much Touraine cf that I can remember except Clos Roche Blanche, which I don’t recall seeming profoundly different from what you’d encounter in Chinon/Bourgueil/SNdB. (It was, not surprisingly, outstanding.)

Saumur is its own AOC, with Saumur-Champigny as a sub-appellation. S-C is supposed to have a lot of the best sites, but my understanding is that it’s not appreciably different terroir.

Anjou cf I know little about. Whether its terroirs differ profoundly from Saumur, I’m not sure. I was told recently that it’s becoming hipsterized, with younger, ultra-naturalist winemakers increasingly moving there. (The implication being that Chinon and Bourgueil and fancy Saumur are now wines for squares.) But that’s just hearsay. I’d actually love to sample some.

With regard to the original question, as indicated, I think many people don’t really perceive meaningful differences between Chinon/Bourgueil/SNdB. So, the issue becomes whether and to what extent one thinks that Saumur/S-C is appreciably different from them. If the answer is “yes”, one could certainly rank those two in relation to one’s preferences. There’s been some discussion throughout the thread of whether this is case; I certainly feel that Saumur cf tends to differ in terms of its tannins (rounder, finer, and more elegant) and aromatics (more floral). I’ve also encountered fewer barnyard or funky elements Saumur wines, though this is presumably due to winemaking. But since I don’t generally mind a bit of the funky stuff, I'm not inclined to rank them.

Sorry to go stream-of-consciousness again.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#329 Post by Julian Marshall » June 16th, 2020, 8:48 am

Sorry, I was ill - thanks Elliot for the link to that very good article by Pascaline Lepeltier. She writes an article every month for la RVF and they're always good. She also took part in their annual Loire review. I also enjoyed your musings on Brian's interesting question - don't worry about the stream, keep it flowing!

As to Brian's question, for my part I don't know really. It's a bit of a minefield, because although I prefer Chinon, what about Rougeard, Collier, etc? Even in Bordeaux I would find it very tricky, but with the myriad of really ordinary wines produced in each Loire appellation, I think classifying them is impossible.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#330 Post by Nathan V. » June 16th, 2020, 10:36 am

Jay Miller wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 5:46 am
A warning on 2002 Collier whites. Even worse affected by premox than Huet. I bought 4 back in the day, 3 were shot, one was amazingly gorgeous.
Interesting. I wasn't taken by the early Collier wines and only re-visited a few years ago. The 2009 has been stunning every time I've had it. Was it a step function? That is, was it good until it immediately just crumbled?
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#331 Post by joz€f p1nxten » July 4th, 2020, 12:32 pm

Drinking my first Roches Neuves Franc de Pied 2017 from a 3 pack - on the nose, a touch herbal, but in no way pronounced. Mineral, sweet red/dark fruit coming out. On the palate, it is remarkably "smooth" - no rough tannins, the wine can perfectly be drunk on its own. Medium length. In very general terms, this wine confirms my description of Roches Neuves wines as "clean", "polished" wines. Nothing wrong with that in my book - my wife likes it. Have drunk other cuvees over the last year, but the differences are hard to tell for me.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#332 Post by Jay Miller » July 4th, 2020, 6:30 pm

Nathan V. wrote:
June 16th, 2020, 10:36 am
Jay Miller wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 5:46 am
A warning on 2002 Collier whites. Even worse affected by premox than Huet. I bought 4 back in the day, 3 were shot, one was amazingly gorgeous.
Interesting. I wasn't taken by the early Collier wines and only re-visited a few years ago. The 2009 has been stunning every time I've had it. Was it a step function? That is, was it good until it immediately just crumbled?
I bought them maybe 5? years after vintage. Now that I think of it I'm not sure if it was three bottles or four. I tried one expecting to bury the rest but it was shot. As was the second. I opened the last one and it was glorious.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#333 Post by Sean S y d n e y » July 14th, 2020, 4:32 pm

Just opened the 2016 Domaine Guion Cuvée Domaine I referenced earlier in the thread.

Sometimes there's nothing I love more than an encounter with a textbook example of a given region or style, and this is that; blue and purple fruit, just a hint of green pepper, a bit of gravel and lovely freshness. Grippy tannin, lightly spicy finish. Rustic and old-school but tasty, tasty, tasty and perfect with steak.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#334 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 14th, 2020, 5:03 pm

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 14th, 2020, 4:32 pm
Just opened the 2016 Domaine Guion Cuvée Domaine I referenced earlier in the thread.

Sometimes there's nothing I love more than an encounter with a textbook example of a given region or style, and this is that; blue and purple fruit, just a hint of green pepper, a bit of gravel and lovely freshness. Grippy tannin, lightly spicy finish. Rustic and old-school but tasty, tasty, tasty and perfect with steak.
Great note and comments. It’s an amazing QPR. And it ages effortlessly. I had a 1985 several years ago that was excellent, better than Lenoir from the same vintage.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#335 Post by Julian Marshall » July 17th, 2020, 6:03 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 1:51 am
HMechbal wrote:
May 21st, 2020, 4:36 pm
First showing for a Terres Rouges 2018 from Arnaud Lambert, and a convincing one. Red fruits (raspberries and strawberries), floral notes and very fine tannins. Couple of friends found it peppery as well. Nice fresh finish. Maybe thanks to 2018 vintage, but it was both ripe and fresh at the same time. Gonna buy some more, nice crowd pleaser at a low price.
Thanks Hamza, I'll try mine this summer, or even next week if this barbecue weather continues!
Tried one last night and I thoroughly agree with your excellent note - like your friends, I got the pepper too! I think it needs another year or two, but I really liked the way the fruit is both ripe and fresh, as you say, without the unnecessary sugary taste that I feared from 2018.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#336 Post by Sean S y d n e y » August 15th, 2020, 10:06 pm

2014 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Les Motelles Rouge

Beautifully classic Saumur Cab Franc. Gravelly mineral presence, concentrated dark red fruit l, a game-y wildness and just a touch of green character. After a little air, a bit of tobacco. Robust tannins and fresh acidity means there’s a lot in the tank as far as aging potential goes.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#337 Post by Russell Faulkner » August 24th, 2020, 10:45 am

2017 Guiberteau Chapaudaises was wonderful tonight. Just the right balance with some juicy fruit but a darker finish of tobacco and fresh undergrowth.
A426824C-6A7F-4E1D-9201-EF998399C74D.jpeg

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#338 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » August 24th, 2020, 10:54 am

Russell Faulkner wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 10:45 am
2017 Guiberteau Chapaudaises was wonderful tonight. Just the right balance with some juicy fruit but a darker finish of tobacco and fresh undergrowth.
A426824C-6A7F-4E1D-9201-EF998399C74D.jpeg

I saw what you did there. :)

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#339 Post by BryanLager » August 24th, 2020, 10:58 am

2 x 2010 Etienne Sauzet Montrachet

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#340 Post by S. Wang » September 4th, 2020, 5:19 pm

Life just get into the way of drinking wine(or reading about wine like this thread) Randomly pulled this bottle out of a box from wine locker when I made a quick stop to drop something off.

2011 Lamarginale is a perfect cab franc in my book, full of cab franc unique characters but beautifully enjoyable. Way better than the last Loire red I had, 14 Clos Rougeard. I have a few more bottles of TG, but clearly should backfill more given their price are still fairly reasonable...

Also a flash back to the first time I had Thierry Germain in Paris.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#341 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » September 4th, 2020, 5:36 pm

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
August 15th, 2020, 10:06 pm
2014 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Les Motelles Rouge

Beautifully classic Saumur Cab Franc. Gravelly mineral presence, concentrated dark red fruit l, a game-y wildness and just a touch of green character. After a little air, a bit of tobacco. Robust tannins and fresh acidity means there’s a lot in the tank as far as aging potential goes.
Sounds good, Sean; thanks for posting! I've one lone bottle of both the '13 Motelles and the '14 Arboises --- they both keep calling my name, but they routinely rank runner-up when choosing dinner's wine ... one of these days!
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#342 Post by Julian Marshall » September 5th, 2020, 1:22 am

Sean - I'm sorry, I wanted to respond to your excellent note and then forgot.

Sean, Russell and Brian - I'm curious - I've never tried a Guiberteau because they're quite expensive - do you think they're worth it?

This summer, I had the following:

Couly Dutheil Clos de L'Echo - Chinon 2010

The tannins have died down but at the moment this is a little too lush. It is however gaining in typicity with some faint chalky tones refreshing the slightly syrupy fruit. Fingers crossed.

Charles Joguet Les Varennes and Le Clos du Chêne Vert - Chinon 2010

These were very different compared to the Clos de L'Echo, but very similar, showing typical Joguet elegance and subtlety, but with good concentration of some brambly fruit and hints of wild strawberry flavours which should develop further with a bit more time. Not tangy like other 2010s, very civilized, perhaps a little too green for some people. The Chêne Vert however was just that little bit better than the Varennes, with more depth and concentration.

Yannick Amirault Le Grand Clos - Bourgueil 2010

Not quite ready yet but already very enjoyable. At first, quite crisp and acidic with high toned blackberry, broadening out into blackcurrant after a couple of hours. Possibly better than La Petite Cave but both need another two years. Not quite at the level of the Joguets.

Olga Raffault Les Picasses - Chinon 2011

Like Cassius, lean and hungry. Not without a certain charm but lacking in fruit and not the most impressive Raffault I've had.

Frédéric Mabileau - Les Coûtures - Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil - 2012

Finely perfumed aromas of spring flowers and redcurrants, crunchy red fruit and a chiselled character with fine acidity, giving it a fresh, crisp finish. 2012 is not the ripest of years so not for those who want oodles of juicy fruit, but just my sort of wine and excellent value.

Laurent Mabileau - Haute Expression - Bourgueil 2015

This was quite a revelation, the well rounded cherry and blackcurrant fruit providing a perfect summer drink at a knockdown price of 6€. The fruit is ripe, but not sweet and cloying, the balance is perfect between the structure and fruit, it's much better than the slightly disappointing Raffault Picasses 2011 that it succeeded, at under half the price.

Mostly pretty good, but the wine of the summer was last week:

Domaine de la Butte (Jacky Blot) - Mi-Pente - Bourgueil 2005

Deep, arresting aromas of plum and loganberries, with a rich attack full of berries, plums and blackcurrant, then a refreshingly cool and crisp middle section of dark cherries, before a spicy finale reminiscent of Gruaud Larose. Like GL, there is also more than a hint of bretty funk which I don't mind.
Beautifully balanced between power and poise, it's a full bodied wine which remains light on its feet.

So far, this is the best 2005 I've tried. The Breton Perrières was excellent but this is slightly better. I was optimistic having enjoyed several bottles of Blot's own Perrières 2005 a few years ago, but this was better than I expected.

What I liked about it was the balance - many 05s are a little OTT (Couly-Dutheil springs to mind).

This is an ideal wine for Bordeaux aficionados who are interested in trying Loire reds. The taste profile is not exactly the same as Gruaud but there are clear similarities.
The downside is that it lacks Loire typicity - but then again, so do other 2005s.

This is a good wine to seek out as it's not expensive, especially compared to other Loire 2005s from more prestigious estates - it cost me 26€ at auction, which is two or three times less than Alliet or Joguet, for example.

Plenty of life left - this may well improve further and will certainly last another decade.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#343 Post by Julian Marshall » September 5th, 2020, 1:25 am

Shang - nice photos - is that the Jardin de Luxembourg in the background? You're spot on about TG's wines.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#344 Post by Sean S y d n e y » September 5th, 2020, 8:12 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
September 4th, 2020, 5:36 pm


Sounds good, Sean; thanks for posting! I've one lone bottle of both the '13 Motelles and the '14 Arboises --- they both keep calling my name, but they routinely rank runner-up when choosing dinner's wine ... one of these days!
I wouldn't be afraid of the Motelles! Mine was in a nice spot where it still felt structured but very expressive.
Julian Marshall wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 1:22 am
Sean - I'm sorry, I wanted to respond to your excellent note and then forgot.

Sean, Russell and Brian - I'm curious - I've never tried a Guiberteau because they're quite expensive - do you think they're worth it?
I definitely have more experience with their whites, which I fine to be delicate, pure, crystalline expressions of Chenin. I love them.

I have much less familiarity with their reds, but the Motelles was everything I like in Cab Franc; I'm somewhat sensitive to green/vegetal/pyrazine characters because green pepper is one of my least favourite foods. I don't want that character to dominate, but also understand that a "real" Cabernet Franc will/needs to express it. I want it to be an accent and a "hello, it's me" from the cépage, and it was that. It was such an archetypal, balanced and delicious wine that I really want to seek out more, even if it's just their Saumur bottling.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#345 Post by eweininger » September 5th, 2020, 9:17 am

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 8:12 am
I have much less familiarity with their reds, but the Motelles was everything I like in Cab Franc; I'm somewhat sensitive to green/vegetal/pyrazine characters because green pepper is one of my least favourite foods. I don't want that character to dominate, but also understand that a "real" Cabernet Franc will/needs to express it. I want it to be an accent and a "hello, it's me" from the cépage, and it was that. It was such an archetypal, balanced and delicious wine that I really want to seek out more, even if it's just their Saumur bottling.
Hey Sean--I wanted to follow up on your note, as well. I also have very little experience drinking Guiberteau and am trying to get a sense of the general style. I'm particularly curious about the level of extraction in the Les Motelles. Did it seem pretty comparable to other Loire cf you like? Anyone you can compare it to? Thanks.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#346 Post by eweininger » September 5th, 2020, 9:23 am

Julian--thanks for all the notes. Glad to see you've been drinking well. Fwiw, I've found the better 2010s I've tried to be pretty closed still. When I have them, I prefer to open 2009s. A recent 09 Les Grezeaux was one of the most enjoyable wines I've had in a while.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#347 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » September 5th, 2020, 11:33 am

Thanks for your notes, Julian! As for Guiberteau's reds: I can only comment on their Saumur bottling, as that's the only one I've had thus far, and only over 2 or 3 vintages ---- first of all, it is *not* a stereotypical Loire C.F.. Crystalline, medium-light bodied, pure red fruit, no brett, little pyrazine. I could see how Loire C.F. fans would say it's "too clean" or "too anonymous" (for relative lack of pyrazine), but I quite like the bottling, as there's a place for it at my table. Do I view it as a *substitute* for other Loire C.F. that I love and adore? No. I view it as an *addition* to all others. I think it's worth picking-up one bottle (should be in the $25 - $35 range, I would think) so you can discover for yourself. I'll likely get into that '13 Motelles soon enough, given Sean's reporting, above, and given the weakness of the vintage --- really no point in waiting around on that bottle --- if Guibeteau managed to make a legit-good higher-end bottling in 2013 I'll be impressed.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#348 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 5th, 2020, 11:51 am

I have not had a Guiberteau cab franc that compelled me to buy more. At its price point, it needs to impress.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#349 Post by Sean S y d n e y » September 5th, 2020, 10:09 pm

eweininger wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 9:17 am
Sean S y d n e y wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 8:12 am
I have much less familiarity with their reds, but the Motelles was everything I like in Cab Franc; I'm somewhat sensitive to green/vegetal/pyrazine characters because green pepper is one of my least favourite foods. I don't want that character to dominate, but also understand that a "real" Cabernet Franc will/needs to express it. I want it to be an accent and a "hello, it's me" from the cépage, and it was that. It was such an archetypal, balanced and delicious wine that I really want to seek out more, even if it's just their Saumur bottling.
Hey Sean--I wanted to follow up on your note, as well. I also have very little experience drinking Guiberteau and am trying to get a sense of the general style. I'm particularly curious about the level of extraction in the Les Motelles. Did it seem pretty comparable to other Loire cf you like? Anyone you can compare it to? Thanks.
It seemed to have a decent amount of stuffing, from what I can recall - the fruit profile tended towards the darker end of red fruits but it wasn't jammy, extracted, heavy at all and it had acidity and lift. Everything about it just screamed "classic", because it wasn't a consciously natty wine nor was it burly and unforgiving. It reminded me of a "better" (more complex, more balanced, perhaps more refined) version of the Domaine Guion Cuvée Domaine I had a couple months back. For me, all the best Cabernet Francs have that gravelly, "darker" mineral presence and this one showed it bigtime. I would say the best word to describe it was harmony, which I think can be an attribute a touch difficult to find in Loire reds.

It was basically everything I love about Cab Franc, and nothing I don't (heavy pyrazines, gruff and unyielding, simplistic).
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#350 Post by eweininger » September 6th, 2020, 6:51 am

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 10:09 pm

It seemed to have a decent amount of stuffing, from what I can recall - the fruit profile tended towards the darker end of red fruits but it wasn't jammy, extracted, heavy at all and it had acidity and lift. Everything about it just screamed "classic", because it wasn't a consciously natty wine nor was it burly and unforgiving. It reminded me of a "better" (more complex, more balanced, perhaps more refined) version of the Domaine Guion Cuvée Domaine I had a couple months back. For me, all the best Cabernet Francs have that gravelly, "darker" mineral presence and this one showed it bigtime. I would say the best word to describe it was harmony, which I think can be an attribute a touch difficult to find in Loire reds.

It was basically everything I love about Cab Franc, and nothing I don't (heavy pyrazines, gruff and unyielding, simplistic).
Thanks, Sean. This is helpful. I’ve had some Guion over the years, and they’re certainly not extracted (in fact, if anything, I’d say they tend to be a bit lean). The only bottle of Guiberteau I’ve tried (the 17 normale) was very much a jammy mess, but it sounds like it may have been off, or at least not a good representation of the house style.

I’ve been accumulating a few bottles from the more highly regarded Saumur producers, but at ~1.5x the price of Croix Boisee rouge for the better wines, I’m just not sure what’s worth it and what’s not.
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