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Loire Chenin Blanc: Underrated No More

featured, France: Loire

Jason Wilson, Jul 2020

One of the immutable, unwritten laws of wine writing has been that you must describe Chenin Blanc with one or more of the following terms: underappreciated, underrated or underdog. But the reality is that some of the most exciting white wines in the world are Chenin Blancs from Anjou and Touraine, in famed appellations such as Montlouis, Vouvray and Savennières, as well as from a wave of producers in Anjou who’ve shunned the traditional appellations and chosen to bottle their wines as Vin de France.

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Big Love for Loire

featured, France: Loire

Jason Wilson, Jul 2020

The Loire wine scene is full of youthful energy. It’s no surprise that the region has also become an epicenter of the organic, biodynamic and natural winemaking that appeals to a younger generation. The first part of my coverage looks at Cabernet Franc with a focus mostly on Chinon, Bourgueil and Saumur-Champigny, as well as others from Anjou and Touraine.

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Vinous Table: L’Embellie, Tours, France

Vinous Table, France: Loire

Neal Martin, Sep 2019

L’Embellie was thoroughly enjoyable. There are plenty of tourist restaurants in the center of Tours offering mediocre fare, but L’Embellie is a step above others in the vicinity.

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Cellar Favorite: 1969 Caves des Liards Montlouis Demi-Sec

France: Loire, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, May 2019

Consequently, when I came across a half-century-old Montlouis from Caves des Liards at importer Yapp Brothers’ recent tasting, I didn’t know what to expect. To my pleasant surprise, I found a delicious wine that has aged as well as the top Vouvrays I have encountered.

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Cellar Favorite: 1921 Marc Brédif Vouvray Moelleux

France: Loire, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, March 2019

You might well assume that last week’s 1990 Moelleux Goutte d’Or from Foreau constitutes the best Vouvray that I have ever drunk. There are a couple of challengers, Marc Brédif’s 1921 Vouvray Moelleux being one of them, albeit much older.

Vouvray 1990 foreau bottle

Cellar Favorite: 1990 Domaine Philippe Foreau (Clos Naudin) Vouvray Moelleux Goutte d'Or (Mar 2019)

France: Loire, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin,

One of the most revered producers in Vouvray is Domaine du Clos Naudin, founded by Armand Foreau in 1910 and run by his grandson Philippe since 1983.

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2014 & 2015 Muscadet: Contrasting Vintages Ripe for Discovery

featured, France: Loire

David Schildknecht, May 2017

If neither the 2014 nor 2015 vintage meets your expectations of Muscadet, then it’s hard to imagine what you could possibly be seeking. And if you still aren’t acquainted with these subtly intriguing, delicious, enormously versatile and ridiculously underpriced wines, there will never be a better opportunity to remedy that.

Vincent chickens in vineyard

Vinous Table: Restaurant La Galottière, Loire

Vinous Table, France: Loire

Joel B. Payne, Jan 2015

On my first day on the Loire to research my recent article on Cabernet Franc I was surprised to hear every winemaker mentioning the same cook, a gentleman they all just called Vincent.

Cabernet franc at harvest 2014

Loire Valley Cabernet Franc

featured, France: Loire

Joel B. Payne, Dec 2014

Some grapes command great respect in the eyes of consumers; others are hardly known or even ignored. In spite of being part and parcel of many of the most expensive red wines in the world, Cabernet Franc rarely gets the attention it so clearly deserves.

Vouvray cellar vinous

Focus on Loire Valley Chenin Blanc

featured, France: Loire

Joel B. Payne, Dec 2014

For most tourists, the gentle stretch of the Loire that flows from Tours to Angers conjures visions of castles, stately manor homes and lazy afternoons on a bicycle tour along one of the river’s many tributaries.