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Loire Recommendations


#1

Hi all, hope this is in the right section…

I’m planning a trip to the Loire and am keen to hear any recommendations, particularly of good producers to visit for a group of keen, enthusiastic newbies

I have the following advice from a sommelier that I have a great deal of trust in:

"Some good producers: Jacky Blot who makes ‘Domaine de la taille aux loups’ and a red wine from a different winery I forget the name of is a real pioneer in a small place called Montlouis: he’s making amazing Chenin Blanc and Cremant. I’ve not tried his red (Cab Franc) but reviews are glowing.

Domaine des Beaumards are also forward thinkers (screwcaps for fifteen or twenty years so far, much to the chagrin of most other french people) and they make fantastic chenins around Savennieres (Clos du Papillon Vineyard and Clos de St. Yves. Great botrytised sweet from the Quarts de Chaume vineyard too. They’ll probably be big enough to offer a slick visit.

Francois Cotat is a maverick Sancerre produer. Very cult. I only tried it for the first time a few weeks ago and it’s sweet… Bizarre and like nothing else. Just keep your eyes open for it for curiosity.

For other regions/styles: Aged Cab Francs can be fascinating - maybe try some St. Nicolas de Bourgeuil as an example. Vouvray is some of the longest living white in the world and often comes ‘sec’ (actually more an off-dry style) and Moelleux (sweeter again) but easily holds for twenty/thirty years. Moulin Touchais can age like a dream too. Coulee de Serrant is pretty legendary too.

If you want to try top drawer sauvignon then look out for ‘Silex’ (name of a soil type - flint - but also cult wine), or maybe ‘Baron de L’ Pouilly Fume. Next level stuff. Or any Sancerre from the Monte Damnes vineyard"

So I have a good start but will be very happy to add to the agenda

Thanks in advance!


Aged Chinon anyone
#2

In a very good way. I just recently tried a 2015 Monte Damnes and it was a pleasure.


#3

Just a word of caution on the “silex” - lots of producers write it on the label to indicate that the wine comes from that soil, but the one being referred to as the top wine is produced by Didier Dagueneau (actually his son, but Didier is the name on the label).
I’d recommend getting hold of a book called something like “the food and wine of the Loire” by Jacqueline Friedrich… It’s years old now so some of the info is out of date but it’s still a brilliant introduction to the region.


#4

Also, (though I don’t know about logistics as haven’t personally visited) I would really recommend the Chinons (VV and Coteaux de Noire) of Philippe Alliet, a personal favourite!


#5

The Loire is really quite large, will you be travelling all the way through from the upper Loire vineyards to the pays Nantais?
There is not only lots of vineyards to see and wines to taste but also a plethora of chateaus with often their own vineyards on site.
Trying to keep it short, but if you will be drinking Savennieres you must visit/try Nicolas Jolys monopole of coulee de serrant wines
He produces beautiful and structured whites with biodynamic practices. He also runs with other producers Roches aux Moines which is next to Coulee. He has become quite a maverick In the past few years.

AS far as I am aware, Montlouis is a white appellation only?? obviously producers may produce red wine but it cant claim AOC status.
For excellent still and sparkling Vouvray, Champalou are wonderful and if and when you get fed up of Cab franc and cot try some Muscadet. Admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea but Le Pallet, Goulaine and L’Ecu are some of the the best I’ve had.
There’s so many wine making areas in the Loire and its difficult without knowing exactly where you will be what to recommend.
The local Chinon white and red and Touraine sauvignon are pretty good and like you’ve already mentioned St. Nicolais de Bourgeuill . TWS used to have one last summer but it’s no longer available.
Cremant de Loire is very popular and unlike any other Cremant has a minimum aging of 12 months on Lees, (other regional cremant is 9 months) so you do get a bit more complexity for your money.


#6

Thanks guys, certainly some stuff to look into and some great clarifications as well

Currently thinking to head from Nantes to Tours so should cover a bit of what I appreciate is a long river!!


#7

Jacky Blot reds are excellent.

Savennieres is an interesting white too. Domaine du Closel Clos du Papillon is lovely.

The range of wine styles is huge. Menetou Salon is an interesting and cheaper alternative to Sancerre.


#8

If you stay in Chinon, Sourdais have a Caveau right in the middle of the old town. Worth popping in.


#9

@NickP Tour is lovely, head to Place de Plumeau for some medieval architecture. Great range of restaurants too on and round rue Colbert.


#10

Leah is quite right it is a huge area from Muscadet to Poully Fume.
So it is not easy to recommend, just a couple, Domaine Huet in Vouvray is well worth seeking out, and Savenierres, the two best being Domaine aux Moines and Coulee de Serrant, not just for the wines but they are very nice people.
http://www.domaine-aux-moines.com/en/VinsE.html

https://coulee-de-serrant.com/en/home/

http://www.domainehuet.com/


#11

if you find yourself in Chinon then Couly Dutheil is a short walk from the centre and does a reasonable cellar tour…

http://coulydutheil-chinon.com/en/chinon-cellars/

There are a number of Cremant de Loire producers in Saumur that do winemaking and cellar tours too, Gratien and Meyer supply the WS and is a good one. Though my favourite in Langlois Chateau as they do a wider selection wines…

http://www.langlois-chateau.fr/en/home/

As others have said, the area is huge and surprisingly diverse in terms of wines. Have a great time and let us know how you get on :sunglasses:


#12

Meant to mention, that I think the sweet wines from the Coteaux de Layon are very much a hidden treasure of the Loire - I always bring back several bottles from my travels there.


#13

The more I read and hear, the more I realise quite how big an area it is. It’s the variety that appeals to me and it sounds like staring in Nantes and then focusing around Tours will give us the option to strike out on a couple of day trips to some nice areas

Appreciate the recommendations so far!!


#14

You will have no problem finding good hotels in either Tours, Amboise, Samur, Blois etc it is a strong point of the region, we stayed at this place in it’s first year of opening, this is in Amboise and it was very good , but there is a very good choice so homework is needed.
The same goes for restaurants but avoid the tourist areas in all the towns.

http://www.chateaudeperreux.fr/en/index.php


#15

Been meaning to reply to this as we had a couple of GREAT holidays in the Loire.

I’m glad someone mentioned Montlouis. We stayed there in a very nice AirBnB place with its own pool. The local ‘cave’ is a cooperative effort by all the local producers and is worth visiting (and is actually a cave!)

Also worth reading this:

The name that I don’t think has been mentioned so far is Francois Chidaine. Glorious, if slightly expensive, wines! Try to pop into their shop, and if you are staying in the area and need a temporary break from Loire-only drinking, they sell wines by producers that share his philosophies …

We also had a great visit to one of The Society’s Muscadet producers - Chéreau-Carré (http://www.chereau-carre.fr/site/). We had a very warm welcome and tour at their place and would highly recommend them and their wines.


Finally, if you are in the Loire, I highly recommend a visit to L’Ile des Machines in Nantes


#16

If you come near Chinon, I can recommend La Maison du Vin in nearby Beaumont-en-Veron. It has a selection of wines from the Chinon area. Closed on Mondays.


#17

Three more producers I would recommend are Bernard Baudry, Baudry Dutour and Charles Joguet, all located close to but outside Chinon. For me Bernard Baudry’s La Croix Boissee, Charles Joguet’s Clos de la Dioterie and Jacky Blot’s Mi-Pente as the three great red wines of the region, all ridiculously cheap but all need some years in the cellar. All these producers bottle different cuvees from different soil and Bernard Baudry in particular has the soil in the tasting room for you to see; the differences in taste are pronounced and others will choose other wines depending on style. I would also recommend Baudry Dutour, right next to Bernard Baudry, which produces some wines which are to my taste. These are not big concerns so you are likely to meet Jacky Blot or his wife, Bernard Baudry or his son who has done a stint at a NZ producer and hence speaks English. I would also recommend the blog Jim’s Loire and try to time your visit with one of the many wine fetes which will give you the opportunity to taste many wines


#18

I just saw this wine at Lay & Wheeler. It looks very cheap for the raving description. Any experiences?

https://www.laywheeler.com/product-detail?id=1114591A


#19

You clearly have a lot of influence, because it now appears to be sold out!

Edit: I just noticed the email from Lay and Wheeler plugging it, so it may not just be your (undoubtedly significant) influence.


#20

Yes, the promo email came through at 9am this morning, which is highly unusual. I am assuming people with young kids might have snapped all up in no time. Me included, as I was waiting for my daughter at swimming class.