Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Absolutely cracking wines from France 2010: 11th October

On Monday just had a short time to pop into this tasting held at The Deck of the National Theatre before heading off to the RSJ's 30th anniversary dinner. The wines in the tasting are recommended by wine writers in several price categories. There were some interesting Loires included.

Wines tasted:

2009 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie, Domaine Bois-Maligne (£5.99 Morrisons)

Easy drinking, lemony Muscadet. Selected by Tom Cannavan.

2009 Fief Guérin, Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu sur lie, Jérôme Choblet (Waitrose £5.99)

Crisp and lemony with more weight and length than previous wine. Selected by Sarah Ahmed.

Screwcap for Jérôme's wine – surely the way ahead for Muscadet!

2009 Romorantin, Vin de France, Un Saumon dans La Loire, Frantz Saumon (£15.50 Les Caves de Pyréne)

 Fine Romorantin from Frantz Saumon, wearing his négociant hat. Attractive lemony and minerla weight, touch of honey and good length. Selected by Sarah Ahmed.

2007 Le Volagré, Montlouis, Stéphane Cossais (£29.99 Les Caves de Pyréne)

The wine of the tasting showing the talent of the late Stéphane and revealing that his wines were getting better and better. Sadly we will never know what heights he might have reached. Rich, mouthfilling wine with lovely precision and length. All the cleanness of 2007 with a hint of honey and a tuch of oak still. A fitting tribute to a great winemaker and generous and unassuming character. Selected by Anthony Rose.

2009 Sauvignon de Touraine Domaine Mardon (£8.95 Swig Fine Wines)

Quite an aggressive and in your face style style of Touraine Sauvignon. Zesty, nettley and certainly hits the popular image of Loire Sauvignon Blanc. Selected by Jane Parkinson.

2009 Fié Gris, vdp Val de Loire, Eric Chevalier, Domaine de l'Aujardière (£14.95 Lea & Sandeman)
Front and back label

Have tasted and drunk Eric's Fié Gris over the past two or three years and it always impresses – on this occasion spice, touch of tar, real character and length. Given how good Fié Gris can be – Eric's, of course, but also from Jacky Preys in Touraine – it is surprising that it isn't more widely planted in the Loire since the rare examples are often more interesting than many Sauvignon Blancs.

2009 L'Ardoise, Anjou Rouge, Domaine des Rochelles, JHC Lebreton (£7.95 The Wine Society)

Onto the reds with this Anjou from Jean-Hubert Lebreton – soft and juicy with sooty aromas, grip in finish and acidity in finish. Needs to be drunk with food. Selected by Sarah Ahmed.

2008 Chinon, Domaine du Colombier (£5.99 Sainbury's)

Sainbury's have long stocked this Chinon, this 2008 is in a quite ripe, light style with sooty fruit. Selected by Tim Atkin MW. 

2007 Les Cailleries, Sancerre Rouge, Domaine Vacheron (£17 The Wine Society)

Hint of a gamy aroma with the precision and edge of the 2007 vintage – quite lean and needs food. Selected by Amy Wislocki.


Chris Kissack said...

Thanks Jim. Can I ask, were there some criteria other than price for choosing these wines? Although it seems you have some positive things to say about the wines, I can think of many examples of Chinon that are available retail in the UK and are more deserving of the term "absolutely cracking" than Colombier's effort.

I remember the 1990 Colombier was pretty good - I drank it on the eve of my departure for the Loire in the summer of 1993....strange how some bottles stick in your head like that - but the odd occasion I have had to taste the wine in subsequent vintage since then hasn't made me want to go back for more.

And I've tasted the 2009 Fief Guérin and thought it rather straightforward and fruit-dominated, an easy to drink Muscadet. Nice wine, and well done them for getting on with using screwcaps, but why feature it in a tasting like this?

It would be interesting to know the level of investigation that was attained to make these choices. How many Chinons were tasted? How many Muscadets? Which vintages? Was there any info on this provided?

Jim's Loire said...

Chris. Thanks. I should have explained it was purey down to receommendation by the journalists, so receommended might have been a better chosen word than selected.

I agree with you about the Chinon. The Colombier 2008 was pleasant but it is not one I would buy as you say there are many more interesting examples. Still it is difficult to find Chinon in a supermarket.

Anonymous said...

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Jim's Loire said...

Thanks Bob. Loire in 2011?

Chris Kissack said...

Thanks Jim. Agree with your comment on Chinon in supermarkets...more or less non existent. But the Vacheron Cailleries Sancerre is a mail-order wine (The Wine Society) and there are certainly good Chinons (eg. Bernard Baudry) available mail orer in the UK.

Currently en route to a tasting of 2008 wines from a small up-and-coming Atlantic region called Bordeaux (tomorrow). Some tout this region as the next Loire. Apparently they do dry white, red and some decent sweet wines although not much in the way of fizz. Well, not everybody's perfect.

Jim's Loire said...

Thanks Chris:

'a small up-and-coming Atlantic region'

South of the Vendée I gather. Not sure the wines will catch on as I gather some of them are rather overpriced.

Unfortunately won't be there as I'm going to the trial@St Albans instead, whose subject matter is this little known region.

Jim's Loire said...
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