Wednesday, 2 January 2013
A round up of recent Loire bottles
2005 Cuvée de la Comtesse, AC Reuilly Denis Jamain, Domaine de Reuilly
Time to round up a few bottles enjoyed over the past couple of weeks or so. Starting off with Denis Jamain's wonderful 2005 Cuvée de la Comtesse – an eye opening red (Pinot Noir) from Reuilly. I've posted about this before but worth posting again. The Comtesse is aged for a year in barrels made from local Berry oak and has lovely silky fruit and a fine balance. Drunk with a duck bought from Hunters, an excellent butchers in Kinross.
The Comtesse is yet another reminder that Pinot Noir reds from the Central Vineyards can be excellent and that this is not just limited to Sancerre. I hope that Denis fares better weatherwise than he did in 2012 when he has hit by the mid-April frost affecting his Pinot Noir in particular.
2011 Pinot Noir Rosé Val de Loire, Eric Chevalier
Changing the register this is a Pinot Noir Rosé from Eric Chevalier, who is based at the southern end of the Lac de Grand Lieu in the commune of Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu some 365 road kilometres west of Reuilly. This made an attractive apéritif on Christmas Eve with its red fruits and crisp, balancing acidity – better than many rosés from Sancerre.
2010 illuminations, Bourgueil, Laurent Herlin
Have been enjoying the selection of Laurent Herlin's reds that we bought from him in September. The latest to impress was the 2010 illuminations a reminder that although this vintage received a less enthusiastic press than 2009, this is actually a very good year for the Loire's Cabernet Franc based reds.
2005 Clos de l'Echo, Chinon, Couly-Dutheil
We drank this 2005 Clos de l'Echo, Couly-Dutheil on New Years' Eve with a rib of Scotch beef bought from George Gow, the very good butcher in nearby Kingussie. It is probably now the best part of a couple of years since I tried the 2005 Echo. With its rich, concentrated black fruits, it matched the beef well with the alcohol (15%) in much better balance than it was previously. I see no reason why it won't continue to improve.
2005 Clos de l'Echo, Couly-Dutheil