Sunday, 31 January 2010
Stand out wines from the tasting:
2009 Rosé de Loire (60% Grolleau/40% Gamay)
Soft grenadine character with just enough acidity (malo fait) to carry it off.
2008 Savennières Clos du Grand Beaupréau
2007 Anjou Villages Côte de la Houssaye
Pure Cabernet Sauvignon with remarkable concentration in this difficult year for reds.
The still infantile 2009 Houssaye is already showing a lot of promise but there is a long time to go before it is bottled.
Stand out wines from the tasting:
2008 Roche aux Moines, Savennières
Honey and floral nose, lovely concentration and balance – one of those seamless wines where everything is in harmony. This was recently bottled because its malo started late – 75% complete. Unanimously our favourite wine.
2008 Schist Anjou Villages
More detailed notes on your visits to follow in the next week or so.
Saturday, 30 January 2010
PS I see that light snow showers are forecast for around Angers later today...
Friday, 29 January 2010
'La production du Petit Mouzillon reprendra en mars. Nouveau propriétaire de la biscuiterie de la zone des Quatre Chemins et de la recette originale, Biofournil prépare une soirée de lancement à Mouzillon. « Tout n'est pas encore totalement finalisé mais nous souhaitons marquer l'événement », confirme-t-on du côté du spécialiste du pain biologique au levain à l'ancienne, basé au Puiset-Doré, dans le Maine-et-Loire.'
Lire la suite
See also an article here from 2008 about the takeover.
I don't recall ever tasting a Petit Mouzillon. I imagine it is rather like a Petit Beurre or a rich tea biscuit. Would be great if someone could clarify this please. Le Petit Beurre (VPB) was also invented in the Pays Nantais – some 38 years after the Mouzillon in 1886. The biscuits are made in a factory in La Haie Fouassier, which like Mouzillon is also in the centre of the Muscadet vineyards. According to Wikipedia some 41 million packets of VPB are produced every year.
Voici donc la liste des heureux vainqueurs:
Dans la catégorie "Prix des Internautes" :
Aurelia Filion et son blog "Bu sur le Web" :
Hervé Lalau et ses " Chroniques Vineuses"
Aurélia Filion et son blog "Bu sur le Web"
Dans la catégorie "Meilleure Intéractivité":
Emmanuel Delmas et son blog "Sommelier Vins"
Jacques Berthomeau et son blog "Vin&Cie, l'Espace de liberté"
Et enfin, pour le prix du "Meilleur Blog":
Anne-Laurence Chadronnier et son blog "Rouge, Blanc, Bulles"
Thursday, 28 January 2010
There was a time during the 1990s when the French respected the seasons: skiiing in February, asparagus in April, strawberries in May, the vendange in September and strikes in November, so that they could be settled in time for Christmas. Sadly this respect for tradition has disappeared: now, like haricots verts, you can come across strikes all year round!
Then onto two wines (both 2009) involving Sébastien Vaillant – one under Sébastien's name and one under the Vignerons de Valençay. The first – a Valençay (RRP: £9.99) – is a blend of 80% Sauvignon and 20% Chardonnay and spends four months on its lees. Attractive grapefruit flavours allied with a soft, roundness that comes from the Chardonnay. It has a Selvin closure (screwcap). See previous notes on the 2008 vintage here and here. The second wine is a Loire Sauvignon Blanc vin de pays (RRP: £9.99) – also Stelvin closed. Bottled early – in mid-December – this is quite rich with attractive citrus flavours with grapefruit to the fore.
Next a bracing 2009 Sauvignon de Touraine from Domaine des Corbillières, Oisly (RRP: £9.99) At present the aromas are discreet on this quite lean wine, although it does have fair length. With a little time this may take on more weight and become more expressive. On present showing I'd go for the Valençay vin de pays at the same price.
Report on the tasting on-going.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Message from William Page:
'Après presque vingt ans à Vailly le Lièvre va déménager !!!
Nous serons fin mars 2010 au 28 Quai du Chatelet à Orléans dans une belle maison donnant sur La Loire.
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Monday, 25 January 2010
With just a week to go before the 2010 Salon des Vins de Loire opens its doors, today's La Nouvelle République carries a report on it here.
'Le 24e Salon des vins de Loire se déroulera à Angers à partir du 1er février : il a pour but de promouvoir le millésime de l'année auprès des professionnels.
Lire la suite
For the 2010 edition there are 591 exhibitors. It remains uncertain whether Salon, which hitherto since its inception in 1987 has been annual, will be held in 2011 or whether it will become bi-annual with the next edition in 2012. This I understand is due to budget cuts demanded by the négociants.
Epeigné-les-Bois: Fête de Saint Vincent: 24th January 2010
A few photos here from yesterday's fête mainly of the last five Saint-Vincent's each planting a vine by a wall.See here. It looked a pretty grey day – still that wouldn't have affected the long lunch! Apparently it was pouring with rain around 10am but it stopped in time for the dancing group – La Gidelle – to perform.
The five vines planted are various table grape varieties, including Chasselas, and each year the Saint-Vincent will plant a new vine. The vines are planted along the wall of the cemetery on the road (D81) from Francueil to Epeigné. Planting the first five vines yesterday were Patrick Guignard (2004), Mark Robertson (2005), Bernard Maugueret (2006), Claude Lesur (2008) and Jean-Michel Prieur (2010). Alain Tranchard (2009) and James Marchais (2007) were unable to attend.
Following the vine planting ceremony and the dancing, there was a tasting of wines from Bruno Curassier (Domaine de la Grange, Bléré), Gilda Garanne (Saint-Georges-sur-Cher), Jean-Claude Legrand (Saint-Georges-sur-Cher) and La Gourmandière (Cave Cooperative de Francueil). Lunch and dancing continued at least till 8pm when Jim's Loire's local reporter made his excuses and left.
I understand that the Comité des Fêtes was pleased with this edition as in recent years this fête has been in slight decline. This year there were another 10 places sold for the lunch.
Report from Wednesday's La Nouvelle République (27th January 2010)
Dimanche matin, sous la houlette du comité des fêtes, Épeigné-les-Bois fêtait la Saint-Vincent, patron des vignerons né au sein d'une famille noble à la fin du IIIe siècle à Huesca, petite cité espagnole des Pyrénées. Diacre puis archidiacre à Saragosse, il avait en charge l'administration des biens de l'église et prêchait également à la place de l'évêque de Saragosse.
Sunday, 24 January 2010
It is good to see producers working with Loire varieties like Menu Pineau (also called Arbois) that used to be more widely grown than they are now. Pascal Potaire in the Cher Valley is another producer making Menu Pineau – on this evidence I prefer Pascal's. Thierry Puzelat is another producer working with Menu Pineau. It remains a permitted variety in Vouvray (almost a slightly guilty secret!), Cheverny and Valançay. Having a range of varieties that have a local history is part of France's patrimony and it would be good to see France's wine authorities wanting to cherish and encourage this diversity even though hectares of just Sauvignon Blanc would be easier to sell.
* Douglas Wregg (Les Caves de Pyrène) told me they would be sending the 2004 vintage. However, there is an L6 marked at the bottom of the label, so it may actually be 2006. As a vin de table français there can be no mention of the vintage on the label. I'll have to check with Douglas.
A reminder that voting on the best of the 20 blogs selected for the Wine Blog Trophy closes on Monday 25th January. Don't miss your chance to vote for the best blog – see here:. By last Monday (18th) 1200 votes had been cast.
Here are the blogs selected by category:
The results will be announced on Tuesday 26th January. (26.1.2010 – not sure this is right. Winners will be notified by email but results may well not be announced until Monday 1st February.)
Saturday, 23 January 2010
Earlier panto pics here
Friday, 22 January 2010
From today's La Nouvelle République:
Lire la suite – read the rest
I'm very happy to recommend the florist, Le Parfum Fleuri, run by Fabienne Porte, in Bléré. Last weekend I needed to order flowers to go to an old friend, whose husband had sadly died recently. Searching through Les Pages Jaunes I selected Le Parfum Fleuri (5 pl Libération, 37150 Bléré – 02.47.23.59.22) from the three or four florists in Bléré.
I telephoned ordered and paid for a bouquet – all very professionally done and the friend is absolutely delighted with the flowers.
One of the bottles I took was this nearly full bottle of 2008 Anjou Blanc from Château Soucherie. I had been very impressed by it at the tasting, so was very pleased to get the opportunity to taste this wine, 100% Chenin Blanc from a parcel of 80 year old vines, again. It did not disappoint having a lovely balance of fruit and acidity. The acidity is the crucial element: ripe not at all green and provides a counterbalance for the quite mouth filling fruit. Wonderfully precise wine that carries off its 14% alcohol.
This property was long owned by the Tijou family but a couple of years ago it was bought by Roger François Béquinot. There are 30 hectares of vines – 24 at Beaulieu, four in Chaume and two in Savennières (Clos les Perrières).
Thursday, 21 January 2010
It's on for the next three nights – Thursday, Friday and Saturday – at the 300 seat John McIntosh Theatre at the London Oratory School, Seagrave Road SW6 – nearest tube is West Brompton. Tickets range from £10 - £35 and are available via the Benevolent - +44 (0)207 089 3888, or online at http://www.thebenevolent.org.uk/.
Eutypiose with Lord Stirling (?): Walter Speller