Lock-down take 2. Day 12. 10th November.

Busy researching the availability of Loire wines here and in the UK this morning for an upcoming Insta Live in partnership with @pursuitofgrapeness.

You’d think that would be easy wouldn’t you but in fact it’s quite tricky. Few UK wine suppliers have a large and varied range from the Loire. Yes, I can always find a Sancerre but there’s so much more to the Loire than that.

I want to show the diversity of the Loire. And, that it can deliver great, ripe reds too. The days of stringy lean Cab Francs full of bell pepper notes are long gone (although you wouldn’t think so reading recent write ups).

We’ve had sunny vintage after sunny vintage in the last 10 years. Yes, 2013 was a bit of a blip but then it was a blip for all wine regions in France, not just the Loire. Hello climate change.

Anyway, I’ve found some wines that I like and my task today is to see if I can source the same vintages here that are currently available in London.

I drove over to Amboise late morning to post a birthday card to my Mum who’ll be 91 on Friday. Duly armed with my attestation I arrived to find it shut. Incredibly irritating. It opens at 2pm so I’ll have to go out again this afternoon.

On the way back I popped in for a meeting with Louisa. We’re putting together a Christmas package of 6 different wines, a tôte bag, a Montdomaine tasting book and pencil and a tea towel designed by Louisa plus tasting notes, a food and winepairing guide and a couple of Christmas canapé recipes. That’ll keep me busy over the next few days as I have to translate my tasting notes and pairing guide into French.

I’ll also be offering a Zoom tasting that people can join in with so hopefully that will be a fun activity that people can join in with.

The mobile rang when I was at Louisa’s. As I didn’t recognise the caller I ignored it and whoever it was didn’t leave a message. When I got home, Nigel said we’d had a wine delivery from Domaine de Malteverne. The call was the delivery driver. Phew!

Exciting to have a couple of new wines in the cellar. You may remember that we discovered Domaine de Maltaverne a few weeks ago when we bought a bottle from the little mobile caviste Le Van.

A couple of days ago I saw an Insta post from the domaine offering free delivery and so we thought it would be a good opportunity to support a Loire grower in the run up to Christamas. I ordered a case of the Pinot Noir and 6 bottles of their Pouilly Fumé.

The service was extremey efficient too. Ordered on Sunday evening on-line, confirmation email on Monday and delivery on Tuesday. Impressive.

A third generation producer, today the estate is run by Gilles Maudry and his son Mathieu. As there is no appellation for Pinot Noir in Pouilly Fumé, it’s sold in the Vin de France category and at 7 euros a bottle it’s fabulous value. The 2018 provided ripe rich fruit and this wine has all of that plus some classic Pinot undergrowth notes.

Eager to retaste a bottle we opened one this evening with dinner and were not disappointed. I made some homemade burgers with crunchy coleslaw and fat chips. A satisfying home takeaway with the fire roaring.

We look forward to tasting the Pouilly Fumé. Maybe tomorrow…