• Salon des Vins de Loire 2013

I’m sure that most of you reading this are aware the 2102 vintage is being billed as a catastrophic one and will therefore be expecting to read of doom and gloom.  Take heart, there are some great wines out there and while they may be in short supply as yields were seriously down, prices remain stable and growers optimistic for 2013.  Growers take difficult years in their stride, making the best wines they can under the circumstances and while wine styles may differ from one year to another, surely this is what makes cool climate viticulture so interesting, challenging and exciting.   Oh how dull it would be if the wines from this region were the same year after year!

Thierry Germain


Lionel Gosseaume of Domaine de Pierre in Touraine talking to potential buyers.  His 2012 Sauvignon ‘les Sauterelles’ won the Liger d’Or and his rosé ‘ les Galipettes’ a bronze.  He also makes a really juicy Gamay which has lovely spicey fruit.

Stephanie Caslot discussing tactics on her stand

Corinne Crochet of François Crochet – lovely fresh wines produced from the three different terroirs around Sancere.

Olivier Tourancheau of J Mourat – large range of unusual wines from Fiefs Vendéens.  We particularly liked the wine below which is a 70% Chenin 30% Chardonnay blend aged in barrique for 5 months.

The new addition to the range at Chateau du Petit Thouars – the Cuvée l’Amiral.   This is the first bottling of what is a 100%  Cabernet Franc press wine.  The 2009 has had 36 months in barrique and while it remains very robust on the palate we loved its dark berry fruits and great concentration.  A revelation as press wines are normally greeted with derision.  This one will make you think again.

Huge fans of Mathieu Vallée’s wines at Chateau Yvonne (he’s based in Parnay in the heart of the Saumur Champigny appellation), his wines were tasting stunning. His Chateau Yvonne 2010 was just delicious – rich and supple with amazing concentration, spices and rich red fruits and a luxurious finish of supple integrated tannins.  Hard to spit that one out!

Sebastien David who makes wines in the St Nicolas de Bourgueil appellation shared a stand with Mathieu – what a great combination.  Sebastien’s wines are ‘crazy’ and he is great fun.  He de-stems by hand, treads by foot, ages in concrete eggs and plays with techniques incorporating the ancient and modern.  We loved the Vin d’Une Oreille – a 100% Cabernet Franc full of black fruits, leather and spices with lovely length.

Arnaud Lambert of Domaine de St Just was on good form and it was great to taste the domaine’s new petillant brut nature 1948 which pays hommage to his father Yves who passed away in 2011.  70% Chenin and 30% Chardonnay it has been aged on the lees for 36 months and is really classy. Elegant on the nose and creamy on the palate it has real richness and depth that would give many Champagnes a run for their money.