Loire Night

San Francisco

Tasted January 30, 2017 by drwine2001 with 172 views

Flight 1 - Whites (5 notes)

1995 Domaine Luneau-Papin Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie Le "L" d'Or France, Loire Valley, Pays Nantais, Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine
Tasted blind-guessed 2007 Muscadet with wood like Clisson. Medium yellow. Some citrus. Chalky feel, fuller than usual Melon. Zingy acidity, great liveliness. Amazing aged Muscadet.
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2004 Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Silex France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Pouilly-Fumé
Tasted blind-guessed Cotat Sancerre versus Dagueneau. Light golden. Slight botrytis and herbs on the nose. Rich feel that is atypical for Sauvignon and almost tricks you into thinking it is Chenin, but lots of crushed oregano on the palate. Great acidity. Impressively vibrant despite its volume.
1996 Nicolas Joly Clos de la Coulée de Serrant France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières-Coulée de Serrant
Tasted blind-guessed 1997 Joly wine since it was so idiosyncratic. Golden. Botrytis and nuts. Heavy, peach fruit, oxidative style with a ton of earth. A love it or hate it wine that is not for me.
2011 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc Clos des Carmes Brézé France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Saumur
Tasted blind-guessed Chenin, maybe Saumur. Medium yellow. Quite fragrant with some wood and vanilla. Medium weight with a glycerine coating. Orange and oaky flavors. Not terribly intense and only average acidity (much less than any other wine I've tried from this producer). Not special and I would drink up over the near term.
2013 Champalou Vouvray Cuvée des Fondraux France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
Yellow. Ripe orange and obvious oak. Lighter Chenin weight. Just off dry, great acidic drive, lots of soil, and also lots of wood. I found it much too oaky, but others disagreed and enjoyed it more.

Flight 2 - Reds (7 notes)

2015 Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny Clos de L'Echelier France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Saumur-Champigny
Bright medium ruby. Fresh red fruit with minimal herbaceousness. Medium weight, supple, tart red cherry, excellent acidity, fine soil. A cheery, more fruit forward wine for early drinking (the Beaujolais of the Loire?), very pure and clean.
2009 Catherine et Pierre Breton Bourgueil Les Perrières France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Bourgueil
Horribly corked
2009 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Le Domaine France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
Dull medium ruby. Stalky, green aromas. Toned down varietal scents. Light weight, nice clay texture. Reasonably ripe red fruit peeks through accompanied by some green pepper. Medium tannins. Prototypical Loire Cabernet Franc, discrete rather than overpowering, and a great bargain.
2009 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grézeaux France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
Ruby. Nose of olive and damp earth. Round, more amplitude than basic Loire Cabernet Franc, terrific black fruit, amazing purity and depth. Two steps up in intensity from the very good domain bottling and just beginning to open. Dynamite wine.
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2003 Charles Joguet Chinon Clos de la Dioterie France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
Lighter ruby. Truffle, funk and olive. Dry, green tasting, and mouth puckering tannin. Really the only one of the reds tonight to be in that lean, classic, austere Loire style. Not bad but a little flesh wouldn't have hurt.
2005 Catherine et Pierre Breton Bourgueil Les Perrières France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Bourgueil
Deep ruby-this is dark for a Loire red, especially at this age. Classic pencil shavings and olive. Medium weight, certainly not the biggest red of the night. Deep black cherry and olive flavors buttressed by higher acidity and a tannic finish. Excellent but still remarkably young; this is still 5 or more years from its peak, but it should continue to evolve beautifully given its material and balance.
2003 Catherine et Pierre Breton Bourgueil Les Perrières France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Bourgueil
Lighter ruby than the 2005. More secondary aromatics and truffles. Light to medium weight and feel. Combination of green and candied fruit-somewhat odd juxtaposition but good nonetheless. Much better than the library bottle I tried last week. This has been quite variable.

Flight 3 - Dessert (1 note)

White - Sweet/Dessert
1990 Champalou Vouvray Moelleux Cuvée CC France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
Intriguing golden color with an orange hue. Gorgeous high toned perfume, honey, and orange. Moderately sweet, superb acidity, and a light, elegant feel for dessert Chenin Blanc. Not profound but in a perfect place right now and really, really good.


Of the whites, the old Muscadet proved once again how these wines outperform over time. On the other hand, Coulee de Serrant continues to be too bizarre for me. After a less than thrilling flight of Breton last week, I could not have been happier with how the reds showed, particularly those from 2009 and 2005. Finally, the Champalou was an outstanding, mature wine from a great vintage.

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