Then on to the Sauvignon Blancs: standouts were – 2011 Sancerre and Le Chêne, Lucien Crochet (Gilles Crochet always ages his wines for an additional year before they are put on the market); and Sancerres from Vincent Pinard – 2012 Petit Chamarin and 2011 Harmonie. There were three 2012s from François Cotat – Caillottes, Les Culs de Beaujeu and Les Monts Damnées – that I found underwhelming at this stage in their life. I have had wonderful bottles of Cotat in the past and these may well develop with time. However, on the evidence of this tasting I would rather pay £130 (a case of 12 in bond) for Le Chêne (Crochet) than £260 a case for Cotat's Les Culs de Beaujeu or Les Monts Damnées.
Also on show were Château de Hureau's Saumur Champignys and Charles Joguet's Chinons with 2011 Cuvée les Fevettes (Hureau) and 2011 Clos du Chêne Vert and 2011 Clos de la Dioterie the standouts. In contrast I found the Joguet 2011 Cuvée Terroir rather green in the finish. It is, however, £45 for a case of 6 compared to £110 for the Dioterie.
There was also a small selection of Loires already released. Here i picked out the finely balanced 2011 Anjou Blanc sec from Thibaud Boudignon, 2011 Clos de Venise (Jacky Blot) and the just lovely 2010 Les Onnis, Coteaux du Layon Chaume from Domaine des Forges – full of ripe apricots.