Day 1 & 2 Loire Valley
Saturday and Sunday March 9-10th, 2013
I was invited to take the Kermit Lynch French trip they do twice a year to visit their producers, taste current vintages and make reservations for allocations.
We started in Tours, a midevil city in the Tourraine region of the Loire Valley where we grouped with people from all over the US. A total of 18 persons. We are mostly all distributors and a few retail store owners.
Bruce Neyers is the National Sales Director for KLWM in the US and the leader of the tour.
After a short briefing explaining the details and logistics of the trip, "don't lose your passport, don't be late, don't eat too many oysters or you'll get sick", we were ready to dive into a ten day tour de France.
Day 1 was really orientation with a wonderful dinner at La Chope, local cuisine and some of the wines in the portfolio.
Day 2 began with an early rise and 45 minute drive to the caves of Charles Joguet in Chinon. This so far has been the highlight of the trip, kick off with a bang. Tasted with the owner Anne Charlotte Jenet and winemaker Kevin Fontaine insider the limestone cellars. Please read the post on Joguet for the tasting notes.
By 11:00 we took a short drive along the river Vienne and crossed the river Loire to get to Bourgueil, passing one of the largest nuclear power plants I've seen, we are in the heart of the red wine region.
Our tasting continues with Catherine et Pierre Breton, a wonderfully pleasant and hospitable man. He brings us into his underground cellar and leads us into a flight of a dozen wines, ranging from the Vouvray that come from vineyards he acquired when he married his wife, fresh undisgorged sparkling to the dark and spicy reds.
I really liked the approachable wines that are exploding with terroir. Read the post on Breton for the tasting notes.
On to the next tasting, a mere 5 minute drive to Domaine de la Chanteleuserie. We were met with 7 producers from various appellations. To avoid driving to visit them, they took the time to taste their wines with the group.
An amazing journey, starting with Muscadet from Andre-Michel Bregeon, he poured us a surprise blind wine. A 20 year old Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur lie that was delicious. Fresh and mineral.
Gabbro is old, blue-green, volcanic rock, rarely found in vineyard land. Formed by magma eruptions under the ocean floor, it is said to impart intense complexity to Michel’s wines.
The wines have a white apple, interesting mineral flavor. Fuller bodied with a texture given by the lees. There is a tropical note, almost biscuit, shaved
Tasted blind a 1992 Gorges. Light gold, minimal development, hint of oil, botrytis type
Eric Chevalier from Domaine de l'Aujardiere lead the next flight of wines from Cotes de Grand Lieu. His Muscadet, Fié Gris, Chardonnay, Grolleau and reds.
Muscadet Cotes de grand lieu sur lie 2011
Clean, light, mineral, pear. Palate is dry, high acid, fresh cut citrus
2012, really smells like bergamot tea, floral,
2012 Chardonnay Val de Loire
Very crisp, honeysuckle, lemondrop, pineapple
2011 Sauvignon Gris- Fié Gris
White peppery, grassy, steel
A heirloom variety almost destroyed by phylloxera, replanting in Loire and Bordeaux
Much more green apple, herbaceous but not as grassy,
Grolleau 2012 Val de Loire
Easy, dry rosé with low alcohol, slightly petillante, long finish
2012 Rosé de Pinot Noir
Rounder, fuller bodied, red raspberry
2012 La Noë, Muscadet Cotes de Grand Lieu
Consistent,approachable, fresh and apple
2012 Pinot Noir Val de Loire
Light color with purple magenta hues, nose is expressive, barnyardy, peppery, palate super dry, astringent,spritz
2012 Cabernet Franc Val de Loire
Red peppers, meaty, raspberry, Harissa
Next we tasted Pascal Janvier, Jasnières
See the video.
Coteaux de la Loire Blanc
Outside Jasnières AOC, Clay soil
Dry, light, fresh. Stone fruits, honey suckle, high acidity
2012 Jasniers cuvée silex
Flint soils, very pure, clean, mineral
Cardamom, spearmint, pepper, delicious
With Luc Bizard and his wife
2012 Savenieres classic
Still on lies
Mineral, aged in chestnut barrel
Soil is different from rest of loire with the influence of schist soil, the vineyard are along the Loire river.
2012 was a good year, harvest before the rain.
2012 Cuvée special, on schist and volcanic soil
2005 cuvée sec
Just re-released. Mango, peaches, honey, pineapple
1997 Savennieres sec
Round, burnt leaf, jam, sesame, soy
Warmer year, confident that it will age another 5.
2012 Clos de la cerisae Anjou rouge
Much more astringent from Cab franc on schist soil. Idea is to make it refreshing.
Next Champalou, Vouvray with Catherine, Didier and Celine Champalou
2012 Vouvray Sec
Mineral, light touch of rs. 6gl
Vouvray les fondeaux
500 liter barrel, 22 g/l on limestone soil
2010 Clos la Portail
2011 Frombeaux, limestone soil
2009 Tries vendage
Only made 7 times in 25 years
Domaine Salvard, Cheverny
Made by brothers Emmanuel and Thierry Delaille
Sauvignon Blanc unique 2012
85% Sauvignon and Chardonnay
60 Pinot/ 35 gamay / 5 cot
2011 Pinot Noir Unique
2012 Cheverny rouge, 60 Pinot/40 gamay
2012 Quincy Blanc, soapy, tropical,
Damaine de la Chanteleuserie
Bourgueil rosé, light' high acid, no middle
2012 Bourgueil Alouette
Crushed rock, earth, pepper, berry
2011 Bourgueil Alouette
Dry, also peppery, acid,