Thursday, 18 September 2008

Diversity in the Loire (and the Loir).

Hey, the Loire is beginning to look to Slotovino like the very exemplar of diversity. Consider this:

Red grapes include

Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cot (Malbec)
Landot 244
Leon Millot
Pineau d'Aunis (also known as Chenin noir)

Pinot Noir
Pinot Meunier (aka Gris meunier)

White varieties

Arbois (Menu Pineau)
Chenin Blanc
Fie Gris (Sauvignon Gris)
Folle Blanche
Melon de Bourgogne
Meslier St. Francois
Petit Meslier
Pinot Gris
Sauvignon Blanc
Seyve Villard
Ravat 6 (aka Ravat Blanc)

an excellent mix of familiar and unfamiliar, this area can boast greater diversity than some entire countries (I am thinking of Chile). It has a signature grape, Chenin Blanc which reaches its greatest potential here in the wines of Vouvray, world class roses, reds for all the year round but especially summer, Cremant, vins liquoreux, refreshing whites from Muscadet (finally coming out of the thickets) to Quincy, Savannieres, Saumur, Touraine, Cheverny, Menetou-Salon, Sancerre, Pouilly Fume etc.

As the Oxford Companion says, the wines of the Loire "are still widely underrated outside France". This has come apparent recently by the addition of Grolleau (following swiftly on Pineau d'Aunis) to my repertoire. The best is probably Domaine Cousin-Leduc Grolleau Vieilles Vignes 2006 from Green and Blue
but I found an excellent (and cheaper) example at Caviste Julien
in the Rue Charlot, Paris: 'Le Gros' (Vin du pays du Jardin de la France) by Agnes and Rene Mosse Vignerons - St. Laurent du Lattay (49) 2002.

1 comment:

Guy Healey said...

Sauvignon blanc? i will try that onw