Archive for the ‘Loire’ category

Alphonse Mellot Sancerre La Moussiere 2007

December 3, 2008

img_5110The first time I tasted this wine was at Bibbendum’s trade show last September in Melbourne. At tastings like this you get to see a fairly big number of wines, so the ones I remember best are those that have clearly marked characters like La Moussière. I was surprised to find it at my local Vintage Cellars and was keen to have a look at it again. Things are done with great attention for detail at this domaine, both in vineyard and cellar. All grapes, including the ones from the closely planted, low yielding and biodynamically farmed single-vineyard La Moussière, are picked and sorted by hand before gentle pressing and settling of the juice occurs. Fermentation takes place in both vat and new casks in which the wine spends a further 7 to 8 months on its lees before bottling. The resulting wine has a light golden colour with all aspects of terroir, fruit and winemaking fabulously balanced. Intense aromas of flowers, grapefruit, mineral and lime peel follow through to a soft, dense and textural palate that fills your mouth but never dominates the complex blend of fresh, vibrant fruit, precise minerality and a touch of spice towards the middle and back. This wine is a clear step up from most other regular available Sancerre, an absolute steal regarding pedigree and quality. 92 points

Source: Bibbendum  Price: $49  Drink: Now-2010

Web: www.mellot.com

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Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2007

December 2, 2008

This entry-level wine from Pascal Jolivet is made from grapes grown on the three different soil types found in the appellation of Sancerre. Although it understandably lacks the same complexity of his single-vineyard wines like Chêne Marchand or Clos du Roy, it still offers finesse and distinctive flair. The wine has a pale straw colour and displays aromas of white flowers, citrus fruit, goosberries with hints of aspargus and snowpeas. The palate is smooth, supple and well balanced with ample grapefruit, vegetal tones and mineral, crunchy acidity at the finish. I reckon there is a touch of residual sugar left in the wine that balances quite well against the zesty acid. Straightforward and uncomplicated this is made to be drunk within the year. 88 points

Source: Negociants Australia  Price: $45  Drink: Now

Other vintages: 2004

Web: www.pascal-jolivet.com

Francois Crochet Sancerre 2007

September 24, 2008

To make Sancerre that measures with the best of the appellation, Francois Crochet pays a great deal of attention to the quality of the grapes. This young talented winemaker handpicks fruit and conducts rigorous triage, resulting in expressive wines with the distinctively pungent, flinty characters that the terroir delivers. Pale straw in colour it offers piercing aromas of grapefruit, fresh cut grass, white flowers, gooseberry and minerals with notes reminiscent of the local Crotin de Chavignol in the background. Time on lees gives the wine a lovely textural mouthfeel while a straight line of crunchy acid gives structure and focus. This is what textbook Sauvignon Blanc is all about. 90 points

Source: Swanbourne Cellars/Must Winebar  Price: $50  Drink: Now-2009

Domaine Henry Pelle Clos des Blanchais Menetou-Salon 2006

March 13, 2008

img_4172.jpgAfter trying Pellé’s solid entry-level Menetou-Salon and Sancerre I was delighted to find this domaines top wine from one of the Loire’s most distinguished vineyards. Forty years-old vines, clay-limestone soils and a perfect southwest exposition give concentrated and ripe grapes that produce a rich and powerful wine. Light straw in the glass the intense nose reveals loads of white flowers, freshly cut grass, zesty lemon and a hint of ripe tropical fruit. The rather weighty palate clearly shows the juice has been aged on lees while fresh primary fruit, crisp minerality and pungent acid towards the finish retain the wines lively balance. This wine perfectly demonstrates how good and affordable Sauvignon Blanc from areas other than Sancerre can be. 91 points

Source: James Busby Fine Wines  Price: $35  Drink: Now-2010

Web: www.henry-pelle.com

Vincent Pinard Cuvee Flores 2006

February 24, 2008

img_4170.jpgThe vintage of 2006 in the Loire Valley was warm and dry with temperatures well above average throughout the whole summer. Sufficient rainfall in August and September relieved the stressed vines so that ripe, healthy fruit with balanced acid levels could be harvested. But don’t look for wines with lush tropical fruit, after all this is Sancerre, but expect to find expressions of grassy and gooseberry aromas with hints of white flowers and asparagus as shown Pinard’s Cuvée Florès. This is a fuller style of Sancerre that gives a soft and round impression in the mouth while crisp mineral acidity adds balance and lively freshness with vegetal tones adding background on a long and dry finish. This is textbook Sauvignon Blanc, leaner and more straightforward than I’ve seen before from this producer. 92 points

Source: Vintage & Vine/Liquid Library  Price: $50  Drink: Now-2009

Comte Lafond Sancerre 2005

January 24, 2008

img_3966.jpgThe 2005 Sancerre from Pouilly-Fumé based De Ladoucette is among the best Sauvignon Blancs I’ve had over the last couple of months. What I look for in this variety is a combination between layers of ripe fruit, chalky minerality and lively acid and this is exactly what you get in this wine. A classic nose with aromas of white flowers, straw, lemon, wet pebbles and notes of fresh green asparagus precedes a rich and seamingless palate. Certainly, the outspoken, ambitious and full texture is the housestyle of this producer but this time it seems to be balanced by brisker acidity then in the ones I’ve seen before. Vintage or bottle variation, I don’t know but that this wine is a compulsory drink for every Sauvignon Blanc lover is sure. 92 points  

Source: Negociants Australia  Price: $55  Drink: Now-2009

Other vintages: 2004

Serge Dagueneau Pouilly Fumé 2006

December 8, 2007

img_3768.jpgI love Sauvignon Blancs from the Loire. Why? Because the wines from Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé ultimately express its pure and pungent characters which are seldom encountered outside its heartland. This wine from Serge Dagueneau – and daughters Florence and Valérie – forms no exception to the rule. Made from grapes picked at optimal ripeness, its nose runs through melon, grapefruit, quince, white flowers and hazelnuts while the palate shows a near creamy texture with intense fruit flavours, ample minerality and zingy acid. A lovely wine that should be enjoyed in its youthful glory. 91 points

Source: Vintage & Vine/Liquid Library  Price: $47  Drink: Now-2008

Web: www.s-dagueneau-filles.fr