The first real chance to get a handle on the current vintage is at the annual trade tastings which happen at the end of January beginning of February each year. While not all wines are the finished product (some are tasted from barrel or tank samples), it’s a good opportunity to get up to speed with the style and quality of the wines and also the chance to catch up with the growers themselves, reinforce relationships and talk about the year ahead.
I’ve been working at the Salon in Angers for the past 4 years. We met Lionel Gosseaume at the Salon years ago when we were looking for new wines to show at our tastings and his enthusiasm and lovely clean wines from Touraine caught our eye. Since then we’ve been showing his wines during our tastings here at le tasting room and for the past 4 years I’ve worked on his stand to provide a native English speaker although he speaks pretty good English himself.
While I was busy on the stand, Nigel caught up with some of the growers we work with on a regular basis and when time permitted I darted off for a little tasting and chat myself.
The 2015 vintage is looking good for both white and red here in the Loire. It was an extremely dry, warm year so yields were fairly low and alcohols relatively high for the Loire but the wines have lovely fruit and concentration.