Next a short range from Couly-Dutheil, presented by a tanned looking Christophe Surget – a few days recently in Martinique or was it the position of my flash that gave him such a healthy glow? Amongst the wines the 2010 Blanc de Francs (white made from Cabernet Franc) was showing well as was the 2009 La Baronnie-Madeleine (Chinon) with its sweet opulent fruit. The 2008 Clos de l'Echo and the 2005 Clos de l'Olive showed the contrast of the two vintages. The 2005 with rich, sweet, ripe fruit reflecting the sunshine of 2005, while the 2008 Echo, admittedly three years younger, a more classic Loire expression perhaps and quite tight and austere at the moment and, as one would expect, clearly needs more time in the cellar.
Jean-Pierre Chevallier's Les Cormiers, Saumur Blanc, Château de Villeneuve is always a reference for Loire Chenin. The 2008 is wonderfully clean and precise with weight balanced by its minerality. Can be drunk now but I expect it to take on further complexity with age. J-P's 2009 Saumur-Champigny has only recently been released. It is still quite tight – needing more time, so instead look for his 2008, which is drinking beautifully at the moment.
Other wines to be covered in next post.